The British Council and European Union (EU) on Friday, in Benin, sued for the conduct of peaceful Governorship election in Edo state.
This is coming from the Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (ACP), Mr. Godwin Obaseki has raised alarm over the shooting of some of his supporters by hired thugs allegedly recruited by the opposition party, in Okpella, Edo North Senatorial District.
Mr. Ben James, Political Counsel at the British High Commission and Mr. Richard Young, Deputy Head of Delegation, EU, who both made the call after meeting with the candidate of the APC appealed to all critical stakeholders, including the INEC and the security agencies to prepare well for the new date.
The foreign observers also called for an increase in communication between the political actors, security agencies and the INEC.
According to James, “Our concern is that the elections on the 28th of September are held peaceful, conclusive and credible. And that all the institutions, the parties, INEC, the police and other security agencies do everything they can to make sure the people of Edo can decide who the next governor would be.
“We members of the international community are very keen and sure that the 28 of September should be peaceful, free and fair and should be supported.
“I think the important thing is that the institutions prepare themselves for the new date and tensions are coming there is some tension we have seen them ourselves.”
On his part, Young said, “It is important that the people respect leadership and the leadership preaches peace. Peace is very important that people realise that we build up to 28th, with peace in mind and the election is held in a peaceful environment.
“We came here to discuss the postponement of the governorship election and to make a number of appeals for the increased contact with the political parties and INEC and the police and the security agencies.They should ensure that a careful ground is laid for the election to take place smoothly and calmly in a democratic and credible on Wednesday 28th of September.
“The need to have a sense that good communication between all those different actors, political parties, INEC, Police and security services is paramount, to ensure that the election takes place smoothly and calmly in a peaceful manner on September 28.”
Meanwhile, the APC candidate, Obaseki, said some of his supporters have been injured after been shot at by hired thugs allegedly recruited by the PDP, in Okpella, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo.
He said the shooting which started late Thursday night, have seen several of his supporters scampering for safety, while those injured have been taken to hospital for medical attention.
“The evidence is now coming up, this is what we were talking about, in Okpella last night there were gunshots all throughout the night because people who had been mobilised had arrived town not realising that the election was postponed.
“You could blame whoever but the evidence are now coming out.
“If it is happening in Edo North, you could imagine what will happen in areas like Ovia that we know a lot of people were brought in from outside to come and register to vote or places like Ologbo or Ilushi.
“It is unfortunate that the security agencies didn’t act on time.
“We have the belief that there is no election that is worth the pint of blood of any Nigerian citizen because you can’t be killing the people you want to govern.
“So for them and me (The EU and British Council), we are on the same page that whatever is required to have a peaceful election is what we ensure and insist on,” he stated.
Speaking on the postponement of the poll, “It is not convenient, we have spent so much of time, people have traveled in to come and vote.
“It is not convenient, but that is where we have found ourselves, we are okay with it if that is going to protect lives and properties. We have to live with that no matter the inconvenience.”