Ahead of the Presidential and National Assembly elections rescheduled for Saturday, 23 February 2019, the Committee of International Observers has commended the measures being put in place by security operatives to ensure a hitch free exercise particularly in Plateau State and other flash points.
The observers also urged eligible voters to come out enmass to exercise their franchise and to disregard fears expressed in some quarters about security and logistics.
Recall that the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the Presidential and National Assembly election slated for February 16, less than six hours to commencement of voting and the gubernatorial and State House of Assembly from March 2, to March 9, 2019 over what it described as logistics challenges.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on the findings of the observers so far, Solomon Semaka, Team Liaison Officer, explained that it was imperative to encourage would-be voters to participate in the electoral process in view of the assurances given by security agencies in Plateau State.
“We, in the Committee of International Observers, call on all Nigerians to remain law abiding and calm in the face of the palpable anxieties following the unfortunate postponement of the elections.
“Security agencies involved in the electoral process have reassured Nigerians of the safety of lives and property before, during and after the elections especially in plateau state. They pledged their unflinching support at ensuring free, fair and credible elections in the country. Therefore, there is no justification for any eligible voter to shy away from voting.
“Hitherto, conventional and online media platforms in Nigeria were flooded with scary news of insecurity in Plateau State. It left an overwhelming perception that Plateau State is generally unsafe and devoid of peaceful coexistence.
“However, our visit to Plateau State, and our an under study of the activities of the Commander, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), in Jos, Major General ACC Agundu, prior to the postponed Presidential and National Assembly elections exposed us to the realisation that Plateau State is peaceful and secured.”
The Committee urged political parties and individuals to refrain from making utterances that could instigate crises and be circumspect so as not to overheat an already tensed polity as they remobilize voters across the country.
The observers particularly commended the commitment of the Commander of OPSH and efforts of his officers and men, in conjunction with sister security agencies in the state which has given rise to sanity and secured environment for the elections to hold peacefully in Plateau State.