The apex northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, on Friday, warned security agents against intimidating or harassing voters at polling units for no just cause during Saturday’s presidential and national assembly elections across the country.
“There should be no act of intimidation or harassment of an illegible voter in the polling units by the security agents for no just cause”, the Forum said in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim, in Kaduna on Friday.
According to the Forum, rather than intimidating voters, security agents must protect both the INEC officials and voters at the various polling units in the country.
It also counseled the youth on the need to shun acts capable of truncating the electoral process, especially the smooth conduct of the polls.
While pleading with voters to conduct themselves peacefully in today’s (Saturday’s) rescheduled general elections across the country, the Forum noted that the basis of true democracy is the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.
The ACF said, “The basis of true democracy is the conduct of free, fair and credible election which the electorates have a major role to play through peaceful conduct.
“Arewa Consultative Forum therefore wishes to appeal to all Nigerians especially the electorate to conduct themselves peacefully while at the polling units and obey all INEC rules and regulations regarding the conduct of elections.
“ACF also calls upon the police in particular and other security agencies to provide adequate security to both INEC staff and voters and also maintain law and order during and after elections.
“ACF urges the youth as leaders of tomorrow not to engage in any act of hooliganism, arson or violence that will jeopardise the process of smooth conduct of elections during and after elections or even allow themselves to be used by selfish politicians to truncate our hard earned democracy”.
While calling on the contestants to accept the outcome of the presidential election, ACF “wishes all Nigerians a peaceful elections and appeal to the contestants to accept the wishes of the people as will be expressed through the ballot box in a free, fair and credible way on Saturday”.
It also commended the General Abubakar Abdulsalami-led Peace Committee, which got the two leading contenders – President Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari – to commit themselves to signing a peace accord on non-violent polls.
The statement added, “ACF appreciates the peace initiative of the Gen Abubakar Abdulsalami’s Peace Committee by committing the two leading contenders of the presidential ticket in the persons of President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP and Gen Muhammadu Buhari of the APC to appeal to their party members and supporters for peaceful conduct of elections and to accept the outcome in the interest of Nigeria and development of democracy”.