Nigeria Governors condemn police, SSS’ partisanship during elections

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, has asked the nation’s institutions and security agencies to emulate the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the discharge of their responsibilities during elections in the country.

In a statement on Friday to congratulate Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State on his victory in the August 9 governorship election in the state, the Forum said it was important for institutions and security agencies to be professional and avoid partisanship in the discharge of their duties.

It stated this against the backdrop of the arrest and detention of members of a political party before and during the Osun election.

The All Progressives Congress [APC] claimed that about 150 of its members were arrested and harassed by the police and operatives of the State Security Service, SSS, on the eve of the Osun State governorship election as well as on the Election Day.

There are suggestions by many Nigerians that the Nigeria police and the SSS consider themselves agents of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] during elections.

But the Governors’ Forum argued that the nation’s security agencies belong to all Nigerians and should not be placed at the disposal of a particular political party.

“We urge all other national institutions and security agencies to emulate INEC, eschew partisanship and learn to discharge their responsibilities with professionalism. They should put their services at the disposal of all Nigerians irrespective of political affiliations,” the NGF said in the statement by its Director General, Asishana Okauru.

“Our security agencies are important national assets in which all Nigerians have stakes and must not only be fair to all parties during elections, but must be seen to be so.”

The Forum commended the handling of the election by INEC, saying its near-perfect handling of the poll “gives us hope that the 2015 elections would most likely be free, fair and credible”.

It stated further, “We urge the commission to remain focused and continue to perfect its processes ahead of the forthcoming elections. We in the NGF are ever ready to partner the commission in whichever way we can to ensure that it delivers on its mandate.”

Besides saluting the people of Osun State for their conduct during the poll, the Forum also congratulated all the other 19 candidates and their parties for their peaceful conduct before, during and after the election, and for demonstrating a rare spirit of sportsmanship by accepting the outcome of the poll.

It added, “We urge them all to work with Governor Aregbesola in taking Osun state forward.

“The people of the state have made all Nigerians proud by demonstrating, again, that Nigerians, on their own can choose their own leaders on their own terms, in an ordered manner. The peaceful conduct of the election assures us all that the future of democracy is bright in our country.

The Forum called on Mr. Aregbesola to be magnanimous in victory as he continued to savour the joy of his triumph at the keenly contested election.

“He should consider the election as one in which there was no victor and no vanquished. We urge him to put behind him the acrimony and controversy that characterized electioneering in the state in the past few months and continue to work on his masterplan of giving quality governance to the people of the state,” it stressed.

The Forum urged the governor’s opponents in the election to be gallant in defeat, and demonstrate the requisite large-heartedness to warm up to the governor to take Osun state forward.

Read full statement below:

NGF CONGRATULATES GOVERNOR AREGBESOLA, INEC OVER OSUN ELECTION; URGES NON-PARTISANSHIP BY SECURITY AGENCIES

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) congratulates Ogeni Rauf Aregbesola, the governor-elect of state of Osun on his reelection at the just concluded gubernatorial elections in Osun state.

While we congratulate the governor for his victory, we also salute the people of Osun state for their conduct during the election.

We also congratulate all the other 19 candidates and their parties for their peaceful conduct before, during and after the election, and for demonstrating a rare spirit of sportsmanship by accepting the outcome of the poll.

We urge them all to work with Governor Aregbesola to take Osun state forward.

The people of the state have made all Nigeria proud by demonstrating, again, that Nigerians, on their own can choose their own leaders on their own terms, in an ordered manner.
The peaceful conduct of the election assures us all that the future of democracy is bright.

As he continues to savour the joy of his triumph at the keenly contested election, we call on Governor Aregbesola to be magnanimous in victory. He should consider the election as one in which there was no victor and no vanquished.

We urge him to put behind him the acrimony and controversy that characterized electioneering in the state in the past few months and begin to work out a masterplan to give quality governance to the people of the state.

We also urge the governor’s opponents in the election to be gallant in defeat, and demonstrate the requisite large-heartedness to warm up to the governor to take Osun state forward.

We commend the handling of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC]. The commission’s near-perfect handling of that election gives us hope that the 2015 elections would most likely be free, fair and credible.

We urge the commission to remain focused and continue to perfect its processes ahead of the forthcoming elections. We in the NGF are ever ready to partner the commission in whichever way we can to ensure that it delivers on its mandate.

We urge all other national institutions and security agencies to emulate INEC, eschew partisanship and learn to discharge their responsibilities with professionalism. They should put their services at the disposal of all Nigerians irrespective of political affiliations.

Our security agencies are important national assets in which all Nigerians have stakes and must not only be fair to all parties during elections, but must be seen to be so

Once again, congratulations!

Asishana Okauru, Esq.,
Director General
Nigeria Govenors’ Forum (NGF)


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