President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday directed security agencies to deal decisively with troublemakers who may want to violate the sanctity of the electoral process in the federal and state legislative rerun elections holding in Rivers State on Saturday.
In carrying out the directive however, Buhari asked the security agents to exhibit professionalism and non-partisanship in the discharge of their constitutional duties even in the face of extreme provocations,
He also enjoined the Independent National Electoral Commission to do all within its powers to conduct free and transparent election in the state.
The President’s directive was contained in a statement made available to journalists by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina.
The order came barely 24 hours after chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress including state governors elected on the party’s platform told party supporters in Port Harcourt to see the rerun as “the election of our lives.”
Buhari called for peaceful and orderly conduct in the rerun elections.
The President urged all political parties, their candidates, other stakeholders and the people of the state to ensure that the polls are conducted without rigging, violence and intimidation of opponents and electoral officials.
He reminded politicians and their supporters in the state to put the higher interest of the people of the state in mind, as they go to the polls.
“The rerun elections should not be seen as a do-or-die affair to the extent that people will be killed, maimed and property destroyed in a mindless display of crude primitive instincts. Innocent blood should never be sacrificed on the altar of political contest for temporary power,” the President warned.
Buhari restated his administration’s commitment to deepening democracy in the country by enthroning a legacy of respect for the wishes of the people through free, fair and credible elections devoid of intimidation and violence throughout the federation.