Free, Fair Polls Achievable In An Atmosphere Of Non-Violence - Atiku

Source: THEWILL. -

SAN FRANCISCO, April 11, (THEWILL) - Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that events of last Saturday’s National Assembly elections have proved that a credible, free and fair poll is only achievable in an atmosphere of non violence.

Also, he said that though the outcome of the National Assembly election of April 9, 2011 was impressive, Nigerians, INEC and security agencies should not lower their guards against manipulation and distortion of the will of the people.

In a statement in Abuja yesterday, the former Vice President noted that when the wishes of the people as freely expressed or allowed to prevail, then the resort to violence, particularly post-election crisis is minimised.

“Our democracy and political process will be better off with Nigerian politicians borrowing a leaf from the patriotic and exemplary conduct of electorates at the weekend parliamentary election,” he said.

The former Vice President paid tribute to Nigerians for defying harsh weather for hours to perform their civic responsibility of electing their leaders.

According to him despite the apparent pessimism that greeted the previously cancelled NASS poll, Nigerians still came with renewed enthusiasm to cast their vote once again.

He explained that this keenness demonstrates the commitment of the electorate to free and fair elections in the country and particularly commended the peaceful way Nigerians conducted themselves during the polls.

However, the former Vice President warned that democracy still has hidden enemies who may find other means of subverting the will of the people.

Therefore, he advised Nigerians, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies against complacency, which may play into the hands of enemies of democracy, saying the will of the people is superior to the ego of any politician.

Atiku maintained that the integrity of the election would depend on the extent to which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is able to assert itself no matter whose ox is gored.

He advised fellow politicians to abandon the culture of do-or-die politics which he said is getting out of fashion in all democratic settings of the world.

He urged voters not to be deterred by scaremongers who want to people to stay away from the polling stations in order to achieve their own satanic agenda.

“You must never succumb to the antics of scaremongering and intimidation because your future and those of your children and generations unborn is what is at stake; and your votes with your votes,” he said.

He commiserated with the families of those who lost dear ones in the Suleja and Maiduguri bomb blasts and prayed for the recovery of all those currently receiving treatment.