President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated his pledge to a fair election on Thursday.
He cautioned against abuse and lack of justice in the governorship election in the state of Edo on Saturday.
The leading candidates are Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress ( APC). Twelve others are competing, too.
The stakes are high, considering the fierce competition.
The President warned election officers and security officers to remain impartial when conducting their duties.
He also warned political parties and legislators to act responsibly as they proceed to the elections.
The President, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant for Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said he was committed to the tradition of free and fair elections. He said, however, that the efforts of those in the field will go a long way to evaluate the findings.
In a note to voters, political parties, election officials and security forces, the President reiterated his position.
He said that:
“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 machination.
“The do-or-die mentality to politics is a threat to free and fair elections because the actors are more focused on winning than caring about a fair outcome that reflects the Will of the people.”
Buhari appealed to political parties and their candidates to behave peacefully and respect law and order. He also advised election officials and security agents “to remain neutral to ensure free and fair elections and avoid any action(s) capable of compromising the integrity of the elections.”
He said: “Conducting free and fair elections is one of my main concerns for our democracy, and I want this commitment to be one of the legacies I will leave behind when I depart office.”
The 4 Brigade Nigerian Army, Benin, released two help lines for the public to report untowards activities.
The Assistant Director Army Public Relations, Maj. Ojo Adenegan, made in a statement gave the telephone numbers as 08079831567 and 08079839190.
He said the telephone lines would be operational round the clock.
Also on Thursday, the Police Service Commission (PSC) cautioned police officers and men to operate within the law or face sanctions.
The commission has already deployed a high powered team to monitor the conduct of policemen on electoral duties.
Head, Press and Public Relations of the Commission, Mr Ikechukwu Ani, said the team is led by Rommy Mom, a Commissioner representing the Human Rights Organizations and Austin Braimoh, representing the Media.
The Commission has also released dedicated telephone numbers for complaints and commendation on the conduct of Police during the poll.