Edo women on Thursday pleaded with the President Muhammadu Buhari for a free, fair and credible Edo governorship election, even as they appealed to him to see the election as a litmus test for the sincerity of his administration.
The women, under the aegis of the Forum of uncommon women of Edo, FUWE, after a meeting in Benin City the state capital to review unfolding political developments in the state said that as a stand-alone election, the whole world was watching to see how it goes.
Director-general of FUWE Princess Mrs Philomena Ihenyen who spoke with newsmen after the meeting said, “The Edo election is a litmus test for the sincerity of the Buhari administration”, adding, “let it be said for the deaf to hear that Edo people are ready to defend their mandate and will not allow subversion or corruption of our collective will”.
The women also condemned what they called the unprovoked verbal and physical attacks directed to women as they campaigned across the state and called on the Nigerian Police to be firm in its bid to stem political violence as the state governorship elections draws near.
She said most disturbing was this week’s attack in Edo North of the campaign train of Dr Idia Ize-Iyamu, the wife of the PDP governorship candidate adding , “Although the wife of the candidate was unhurt several women in her entourage sustained various injuries with one or two cars damaged. We condemn these attacks and consider it an affront on the entire womenfolk”.
Princess Ihenyen therefore called on the “Nigerian Police yet again to be firm in its bid to stem crime and political violence in the elections slated for September 28th 2016“, adding that , “it must protect all above the law, no matter the person’s or political affiliation”.
“We are all equal stakeholders in the Edo Project in spite of your political and ethic root or leaning. We have a right under the law to be served and protected by the security agencies especially the Police. A situation where opposition PDP members are hounded, arrested and subsequently detained by security agents is unwholesome, callous and injurious to our body polity”.
She also condemned the tendency of the INEC to conduct inconclusive elections, cautioned the commission against playing the script of any political party, so that , “the elections of September 28th 2016 must progress without hitches and rancor”.
“This Professor Yakubu Mammud-led INEC must cease this opportunity offered by the Edo Election to put an end to the gale of inconclusive elections which has hitherto threatened the needed confidence that INEC needs from within and outside the country”.
She added that all ad hoc staff of INEC engaged for the election must be neutral, non-aligned individuals with proven evidence of non-partisanship even as their training and orientation must be publicly conducted as a way to create a level laying field for all political parties.