By Obioma C. Appolos
As Nigeria’s 2019 general elections kick start on Saturday, 16 February, with the presidential and National Assembly elections, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has called on political parties and their supporters to honorably respect electoral rules and shun every act of rancour that may undermine a free and fair election.
The president of NLC; Comrade Ayuba Wabba, in an interview with journalists in Abuja yesterday said it has become pertinent to remind politicians to obey the rule of law as regards elections. Saying that many inflammatory statements made by politicians during campaign as reported in the media, necessitated his call.
“Clearly I think it is about having a very peaceful process and I say so because looking at the background of what has been happening at various places of our spheres on the issue of threat and uncertainties.
“Because we cannot have any system in place if there is no peace and stability even development cannot be there. So our expectation is that the election must be peaceful.
“I also think everybody should be able to exercise its franchise. Everybody should be free to choose candidates of their choice because this is about democracy and that is casting your franchise freely and not to be indolence.
“Everybody should fully come out to cast their franchise as this will also make governance to be accountable to the people. This is what is expected and situation of uncertainties should not be created,” he said.
Comrade Wabba however, said that ensuring credible elections was the only way that democratic culture would be advanced, saying we must build on the success of what we have been able to achieve as a country in 2015 election. He added that politicians should not for any reason instigate situation of uncertainties in this election.
“People should also be mindful and be patriotic because we do not have any other country than Nigeria. That is if people are drumming of war, we should be drumming that of peace.
“If there is any chaos, it is the workers, their families and other Nigerians that will suffer consequences. We must first have a country before we think of any other development and we must guide Nigeria jealously and we must be patriotic enough to shun all vices that will bring chaos,” he added.
Wabba also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission and other stakeholders to ensure peaceful, free, fair and credible elections.
He therefore, cautioned politicians against using the election as pretext to throw the country into crisis.