Ahead of Edo State gubernatorial election, President Muhammadu Buhari has advised political parties, their candidates, and security agents participating in the poll to uphold democratic principles and adhere strictly to rules and standards set by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Buhari added that should they embrace the democratic tenets and do away with the do-or-die mentality to politics which had become a major threat to free and fair elections in the country.
The president asked the candidates and their parties to care about a fair outcome on Saturday, 19th, that would reflect will of the people rather than concentrate majorly on winning the contest.
Buhari, who gave the advice yesterday through a statement made available to newsmen by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stressed that failure to abide by the rules would truncate efforts to achieve free and fair elections.
“I am passionately committed to free and fair elections, but my own commitment is not enough if other actors at ground zero refuse to abide by the rules.
“I want to see democratic standards in the country raised higher at every level, but these cannot be achieved when politicians resort to do or die methods to gain power by any means or machinations,” he added.
On the part of INEC officials and security agencies, Buhari cautioned them against taking sides with parties and candidates, saying, not taking sides will help to ensure free and fair elections and avoid any actions that are capable of compromising the integrity of the elections.