President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, has assured citizens that in spite of the anxieties and fears being expressed ahead of the 2015 general elections, Nigeria is adequately prepared for a peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible exercise.
Mark told the visiting United States of America (USA) Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle in Abuja that the Electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is now well equipped with necessary tools and personnel for the polls.
According to him, “Nigerians are ready for the elections. Our citizens are now more conscious of their rights and indeed the values of their votes. What we expect from our friends and the international community is support and cooperation.
“Security challenge is there but we have intensified efforts and our security operatives now equipped to contain the situation. So far, Nigerians are desirous of a peaceful conduct of the elections. I’m sure the outcome would be cheering to all”, he added, in a release issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Paul Mumeh.
He expressed hope that the exercise would be interesting just as he thanked the government and people of US for the support to Nigeria especially towards the elections. Earlier, the Ambassador acknowledged that Nigeria is heading towards a great democratic exercise in 2015 which he said the global community is looking forward to with keen interest.
Entwistle harped on the need for a violent- free election. He expressed satisfaction that all the principal contenders (candidates) for the polls have all signed a pact for a violence-free election in 2015. He stressed the need for transparency and the inevitability of citizens to hold officials accountable at all times.
Meanwhile, Mark has charged members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to work hard before the electorate in order to guarantee victory at the various stages of the elections.
Mark said: “We want to win convincingly at all levels. There will be no room for any manipulation. We as members of the PDP will not rig. We will not allow opposition parties to rig us out. We have enough evidence to show to the electorate why the PDP remain the preferred choice in 2015”.
Addressing PDP stakeholders from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Kwara, Niger and Plateau states making the North Central Zone in Abuja on Saturday, the Senate President warned anybody or party planning electoral malpractices to think otherwise because “we are committed to free, fair, credible and acceptable elections.”
He however asked his party members not to take anything for granted just as he stressed the need for them to strategise and reach out to the electorate ahead of the polls.
He acknowledged the challenges posed by the opposition parties but expressed optimism that PDP has lived up to its billings in terms of delivery of dividends of democracy to Nigerians, a positive evidence that it would do more if given another mandate.
Mark listed the reasons to include return of the railway transport services, improved road networks, modernised airports, agriculture and rural development, enhanced power supply, political stability, adherence to the principles of rule of law and human rights as well as freedom of expression under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.