By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY – AHEAD the July 14 governorship election in Edo State, former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, yesterday, condemned political killings in Edo State and urged politicians to eschew violence.
Ukiwe who spoke during a sensitisation workshop on the forthcoming governorship election organised for stakeholders in the state, described as sad the reported incidence of violence in the state ahead the election and stressed the need for politicians to play politics according to the rules.
He said: “Election is the most critical and decisive aspect of democracy, but while it is a nightmare to non-performing politicians, a great expectation it is to the people as it affords them the opportunity to choose their leaders as well as non-performing ones.”
“Edo State and her people cannot afford to play into the awaiting hands of anarchy that befalls manipulated elections, because the consequences of this recurrent political decimal are enormous and vexatious and no one knows who the victim becomes at the end of the day.
“Political killings are not only antithetical to democracy; they are also satanic and contrary to the principle of the General Good.Election must be a true reflection of the people’s collective aspiration and hope for a better living condition. It was in this frame of mind that President Goodluck Jonathan earlier pledged his commitment to the principle of one man, one vote and an electoral system in which every vote counts” he stated.
Ukiwe further called on the people of the state to eschew all forms of violence ahead of the July 14 state governorship poll. The ACN candidate, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) candidate, Solomon Edebiri and other governorship candidates apart from that of the PDP, Gen.Charles Airhiavbere also addressed the gathering.
Dignitaries in attendance at the on-day event included , representative of the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, Minister for Police Affairs, Caleb Olukolade, representative of INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, former foreign affairs minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, former Nigeria’s ambassador to the United States, Prof. George Obiozor and Senator Ben Obi.