The All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Lagos state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and his running mate, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule joined other stakeholders in the forthcoming elections in a consultative meeting towards a successful and violence-free 2015 General elections.
The meeting was hosted by the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, CP Christopher Kayode Aderanti and was held at the Grace Akpoyibo Hall of the Police Headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos.
The stakeholders present at the event included different party candidates, political party leaders, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, International and local observers, the media and representatives of all Nigerian security outfits.
In his opening remark, the Commissioner of Police urged for cooperation from all the stakeholders in order to ensure a smooth electioneering process in the coming weeks.
He assured the stakeholders that the security operatives will remain apolitical, while also urging the electorates to be vigilant and avoid any form of violence.
He particularly appealed to the candidates to educate their supporters on the need to shun electoral violence and malpractices.
Speaking at the event, Akinwunmi Ambode thanked the Commissioner of police for the reassurance of violence free elections. He identified that the security agencies are very critical to the success of the elections and urged them to remain non-partisan in the discharge of their duties during the elections.
“I do recognize that security is key to the achievement of violence free elections. The electorate and the entire electioneering process should be protected in order to exercise their civil rights. I urge you to be neutral, and not fail, the elections and the process will fail if you fail. I urge you to stand up to be counted for fairness and neutrality”, Ambode said.
He added, “I am totally against electoral violence. We stand for peaceful and positive Change. I look forward to smooth and peaceful elections come February”
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Lagos, Mr. Akin Orebiyi, had earlier urged the stakeholders to embark on massive voter education in order to make them conversant with the workings of the forthcoming elections, particularly about the importance of shunning violence and the collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs). He stated that only 2.3 million out of 4 million eligible voters in Lagos have collected their PVCs,
He further appealed to the candidates to ensure that they run issue-based campaigns, and shun inciting, abusive and provocative statements throughout the election period.
The gubernatorial candidates and party chairmen of all the political parties present took turns to sign a memorandum of “NO ELECTORAL VIOLENCE”, to wrap up the consultative discuss.