CODER: Don’t militarise Osun
The Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reform (CODER) has decried the deployment of a large number of security agents to Osun State, ahead of the governorship election.
The group said that it smacked of militarisation of the election.
CODER said in a statement by its Coordinator, Mr. Ayo Opadokun, that the presence of soldiers and men of the State Security Services (SSS) may create fear and tension.
He said: “Elections and voting are civil rights of the people to periodically elect those that will govern them. Elections need not be under great tension, fear, intimidation and violence. Nigerians need not to be under any apprehension during election.
“CODER therefore, wishes to state with emphasis that the media report about the recent Ekiti governorship election, which witnessed the pursuit and detention of key APC leaders and stalwarts overnight before the election will not be acceptable this time in the State of Osun.”
Opadokun noted that President Jonathan has promised to ensure free, fair and credible elections, urging him to fulfill the promise.
He added: “He should act the talk. Democracy, its culture and practice has no place for brigandage activities of law enforcement agencies in favour of the political party at the centre whose nominee as per the present constitution has operational control over the coercive agencies of government.
“CODER wishes to remind the political operators at every level of government that the current political space, which they are now lavishly enjoying and abusing, was not given to Nigerians on a platter of gold. A few of us lost our sweat, our blood, our liberty, our personal possession while some even paid the supreme sacrifice for the public good. “Most of the professional politicians as at that time of our democratic campaign for the restoration of democracy were hands in gloves, as confederates, loyalties, and surrogates of the General Abacha’s government and his five political parties of a leprous hand for his transmutation.”
Opadokun urged the political class to learn from the lessons of the first and second republics. He recalled that the governments fell because of electoral malpractices. He added: “The annulment of the victory of Basorun M.K.O Abiola eventually forced the military out of power.
“Those who are gloating over their political opponents because they are in the PDP that is controlling all agencies of coercion should re-think of possible people’s reaction particularly in the South West Zone of the country.
“We have passed through this way before the Northern People Party, NPC, the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, awarded themselves “landslides victory” which on each occasion led to “gunslides”. There is always a limit to political chicanery and shenanigans.
“CODER wish to advise all observers to ensure that they monitor both urban and rural centres and collation centres so that the election can be relatively free and fair and meet with international best practices in elections.”
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