This appeal was made by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, during a meeting with political party leaders and members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Benin.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued a fervent call to political parties, urging strict adherence to electoral rules and the avoidance of actions that could incite violence in the lead-up to the forthcoming Edo governorship election scheduled for September 21.

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In a resolute stance, he assured that INEC is committed to protecting the choice of the people and ensuring a fair and transparent election.

The call for political parties to play by the rules and maintain peace comes in the wake of discouraging developments in certain wards, particularly Idia College in Oredo Ward 4 and Owan West.

Prof. Yakubu emphasized the pivotal role of peaceful conduct in the electoral process and reiterated that the determination of Edo’s next governor rests solely with the people of the state.

However, the need to address recent security concerns and encourage peaceful conduct took precedence, reflecting the gravity of the situation.

Dr. Anugbum Onuoha, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), emphasized the significance of the meeting in light of the recent security concerns.

These incidents have raised concerns and underscored the imperative of fostering a conducive and secure environment for the election. Prof. Yakubu’s visit to Edo initially aimed to assess the impact of the May 24 flood on INEC’s state head office and to monitor the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

Addressing concerns about police presence, Adeboye expressed discomfort with the necessity for police officers to carry guns on election day, highlighting the desire for a peaceful and nonviolent electoral process.

The impact of shootings on some centers and staff underscores the urgency of engaging with security agencies to address these challenges and ensure a safe and secure environment for the election.

The State Commissioner of Police, Funsho Adeboye, assured all political parties of a conducive environment during the election and emphasized the need for compliance with electoral rules.

The upcoming Edo governorship election holds immense significance for the state and the nation at large, and the proactive measures taken by the INEC and security agencies underscore the paramount importance of ensuring a fair, transparent, and peaceful electoral process.

With a collective commitment to upholding the sanctity of the election, all stakeholders are poised to contribute to the realization of a free, fair, and credible electoral outcome that reflects the will of the people of Edo State.

As the election date approaches, the focus remains on fostering a peaceful and secure environment and ensuring strict adherence to electoral rules. The commitment of the INEC and security agencies to safeguarding the integrity of the election and upholding the will of the people of Edo State is resolute.