Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday said all eyes would be on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigeria Police to ensure a free and fair elections in February.
Obasanjo also said there would be no excuses by INEC and the Nigerian police on the arrival of materials and provision of adequate security where necessary.
The former president disclosed that the international community would be on the watch of the country, saying the country must not fail as the nation’s general election begin in forthright.
Obasanjo, who spoke at the a public enlightenment programme on electoral process, organised by the Organisation of Tadhamunul Muslimeen (OTM) and The Muslim Congress (TMC), Ogun State chapters, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, said the failure would bring about ridicule from the global world.
Obasanjo, who was represented by Chief Idowu Abraham Akande said: “The elections are crucial and the international community is watching us. We should not disappoint them, by ensuring that the elections are free and fair.
“This election is for progress and development of this great country and should be devoid on sentiments, like religion, ethnic and nepotism. This election is should be a unity election for all of us. Baba said his message is for all Nigerians to protect his integrity of the country, with their votes, so that we can also be like countries, like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Dubai where there is order in governance.
“We must not make mistake of allowing the international community to make jest of us, as such, those we want to beg are the Electoral Commission, who had just told us here on how the process would go, to assure us that it shall be well.
“You must be fully prepared. You must be up and doing. No excuses. You know all this terrain very well, there should be no delay and late arrival of voting materials. Where you are going to use boat to ferry on the water you know it, where it is going to be bicycle, you know it. So there should be no unnecessary delay.
“A situation where somebody at Eggua will be phoning at 11 O’clock that they are still expecting materials will be unacceptable. A situation where the police will be telling us no fuel to move will be unacceptable.”
For the security agents, Obasanjo, also had a message for them, pointing out that, “you must do your job accordingly and professionally. You must not allow yourself to be used by any individual or group to disrupt the elections. As I said, the international community is looking at us, so we must be careful and thorough throughout the elections.We must get it right, this is the message from baba to you,” Akanle told the audience.
The topic of the programme, “Ensuring free, fair and credible elections: collective responsibility” according to the former president, “is apt and timely, as we the voters also have to get the message. You must not sell your voters’ card, as this is selling your future permanently to the politicians, who you may not see again after the elections.
“Vote according to your conscience, after you must prayed for guidance and direction. When you vote finish, and results known go back to your homes peaceful, no violence, no malpractice. We should accept the outcome of the elections, believing that, that is how God wanted it to be.”