By Nefishetu Yakubu
Benin – A group, known as Centre For Liberty, has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting free fair and credible governoship election in Edo.
The commendation is contained in a statement signed by the co-conveners of the centre, Mr Ariyo-Dare Atoye and Adebayo Raphael issued in Benin on Sunday.
The group said “the conduct of free, fair and credible election is victory for democracy in Nigeria.
“On Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, the good people of Edo went to the polls to exercise their democratic rights to vote, and did so peacefully and commendably.
“In spite of the unfortunate flashes of violence in 13 local government areas of the 18 local government areas of the state during campaigns, the election was conducted in a civilised and less disruptive manner across the state.
“This is highly commendable, havin observed the general conduct of the election in the state.
“We cannot but commend the initiative of the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, who led the peace meeting among political gladiators in the state and set the pace for the National Peace Committee”.
It appealed to monarchs across the country to demonstrate their commitment to peaceful, free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria by demanding for electoral reforms in the country.
It also commended the general conduct of INEC staff, security personnel and other stakeholders who participated in the conduct of the election .
The group explained that the election had validated its (group) position and many other Nigerians that electoral reform is urgently needed for progress of the nation’s democratic process.
According to the group, Nigeria can no longer afford to defer the importance of electronic transmission of election results and electronic collation of same.
“INEC has already demonstrated its willingness to embrace this lofty leap with its Z-pad initiative.
“With the introduction of the results viewing portal and the Z-pad, electoral fraud, if not eradicated will be reduced,” the group said.