Professor Attahiru Jega, the Chairman of INEC, has invited the chairmen and secretaries, as well as the candidates of all the parties contesting the governorship election in Edo State, Western Nigeria to a meeting in Abuja on Friday.
A statement signed by him on Tuesday in Abuja named the invited parties as Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), and Labour Party (LP). Others are the National Conscience Party (NCP), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP).
Jega said that the meeting was to discuss concerns being expressed by the parties over INEC’s preparedness for the election.
Both the ruling party, the Action Congress of Nigeria and the main opposition, the People’s Democratic Party have been locked in altercations over alleged plots to rig the election, with the PDP being accused of sponsoring the murder of Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s aide, Olaitan Oyerinde and the fatal accident involving the convoy of the governor, during electioneering campaign.
He said that the unfolding political events in Edo portend danger for the governorship election holding on July 14, adding that the happenings in the state had over heated the polity.
The chairman reassured the political parties, candidates and indeed all Nigerians of its commitment to free, fair and credible governorship election in Edo state.
He said that in as much as such concerns and anxiety were expected in the build-up to an election, it was important that the conduct of the polls was not unduly threatened by actions and utterances of all stakeholders.
Jega added that in the past few weeks, the commission had received petitions from the various political parties in the state.
He said some of the accusations were directed at political parties and candidates, while others were directed at the INEC’s preparedness for the election.
“The principles that have guided the work of this Commission are transparency, honesty and creation of a level playing field for all political parties and their candidates. The commission remains committed to these principles,” Jega said