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FCT POLL: NORTHERN GROUP URGES PEACEFUL ELECTION

By NBF NEWS
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Sixteen political parties and 513 candidates are participating in today's Area Councils election in the Federal Capital Territory.

Head of Public Affairs Department of the Independent National Electoral Commission in the FCT, Mr Okezie Nwankwo, said on Thursday that the commission was fully ready to deliver a credible election.

Nwankwo told the News Agency of Nigeria in an interview in Abuja that 51 candidates were running for the position of chairmen, 50 as vice chairmen while a total of 412 were contesting for the position of councillors.

According to him, the election will hold in 62 delineated wards with a total of 313 polling units across the FCT.

Meanwhile, a pro-democracy group, Northern Patriotic Front, has urged residents of the Federal Capital Territory to be peaceful and orderly during today's council election.

Chairman of the NPF, Alhaji Ali Abacha, said in Gwagwalada during a one-day sensitisation workshop on voter education organised by his group, that there was need for free and fair election.

NAN reports that the workshop with the theme, 'Ensuring credible and violence-free election in FCT Area Council's election' was organised in partnership with INEC.

Abacha reminded the participants that the essence of politics was to render selfless service to the nation.

'Our founding fathers were in politics so that they could effect and affect the lives of the people positively. As such, the names of some founding fathers like Sir Ahmadu Bello, the late Sardauna of Sokoto; Sir Tafawa Balewa and Malam Aminu Kano, would forever remain indelible in the hearts of our people.

'They did not build castles, neither did they build mansions; rather they built their houses in the hearts of the people,' he said.

Abacha said the lessons to be learnt from the founding fathers were that the only enduring legacy worthy of bequeathing was good name.

A representative of the INEC, Mr Victor Aluko, said that election was a programme for the people, adding that the electoral body was organising it for the people to elect candidates of their choice.

Aluko, an Assistant Director, Voter Education in INEC, called on the FCT electorates to come out en masse to cast their votes today.

According to him, INEC cannot guarantee free, fair and credible election without the cooperation of the electorate.

He added that INEC would not tolerate any form of lawlessness during the poll and cautioned the FCT residents against violence during the exercise.