ASABA – Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State on Wednesday expressed optimism that the 2015 general elections would be free, fair and devoid of violence.
Uduaghan spoke when he received the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle and his team in Asaba.
“The 2015 general elections will be devoid of violence as only popular candidates selected by the grassroots in a free and fair manner, will run for the elections.
“If a popular candidate, acceptable to the people at the grassroots is chosen, there will be no violence as it happened at the recently concluded election in Ekiti State,” he said.
The governor said that there would be a level playing ground for all candidates in the forthcoming local government elections in the state, to ensure free and fair election, devoid of rancour.
“I insist that in the forthcoming local government election in the state, the grassroots will elect the people they want.
“No candidate will be imposed on the people so as to have a free and fair election devoid of any violence”.
The governor called on the international community to assist Nigeria in curbing oil theft and terrorism in some parts of the country through monitoring and intelligence gathering and sharing.
He said that terrorism, being an international challenge, must be handled through international cooperation.
Uduaghan said that the state had a cordial relationship with the United States especially at sub- national level, in the areas of health, engineering and environment.
He disclosed that some of the state workers just returned from Pennsylvania after their training on transport engineering.
In his remark, the US Ambassador said that he and his team were in the state to explore new avenues of partnership and areas of development.
He said that the visit was part of the United States’ commitment to improving the existing relationship with Nigeria.
Entwistle commended the peaceful conduct of elections in Ekiti State and called on politicians to play politics according to the rule and avoid violence in the countdown to the 2015 elections.
He promised the cooperation and support of the U.S. to the country.
The Ambassador, who condemned the activities of Boko Haram in the country, said that the U.S. was working closely with Nigeria to tackle terrorism. (NAN)