The Collaborative Council of Nigerians in the Diaspora, USA, has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari, to ensure that the Governorship election in Edo State scheduled for September 19, 2020 is not marred by violence.
According to the group, students of history still remember that one of the reasons given for the 1966 coup d’état was the unrest in the old Western Nigeria. A crisis that was blamed on supporters of two political stalwarts, Chief Ladoke Akintola and Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Neither Edo State nor any other state in Nigeria can afford a breakdown of law and order.
“Over the past several days, the world has watched election-related violence and intimidation in various parts of Edo State. We have seen reports of mayhem and destruction of property in front of the Oba of Benin’s Palace, including reports of possible loss of life. If these reports are true, this is worrisome. No election is worth the loss of any life, especially that of innocent citizens.
“To ease the tension in the state, we call on the APC and PDP candidates to appeal for calm among their supporters. We ask all outside players including state governors that are contributing to the tension in Edo State to desist from such actions.
“We call on all societies that love freedom and democracy to condemn the fear and terror that has been unleashed on innocent Edo citizens. We call on the government of President Buhari to ensure the safety of everyone in Edo State during this campaign and election period.” said the group in a statement.
They called on authorities to allow the citizens to choose their governor for the next four (4) years in a free and fair election and that no rigging of any sort or destruction of ballot boxes or ballots papers should be condoned.
“Any perpetrators of this crime should be aggressively pursued and brought to justice. Similarly, any person who causes the loss of innocent life and believes he or she can have the protection of the state will be mistaken in that the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be asked to intervene.” they demanded.
The Collaborative Council of Nigerians in the Diaspora (CCND) is a United States of America entity that comprises of the leadership of the various Nigerian-American Political, Professional, Cultural, Religious, and Alumni organizations.