16th May, 2012
In a move intended to calm rising tension over the 14 July Edo State governorship polls, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has invited all parties that will take part in the election to a meeting at its national headquarters in Abuja next Friday, saying the polls will be free and fair.
Those invited to represent the political parties are the Chairmen and Secretaries (National and State) and candidates of all the parties contesting the governorship election in the state.
In a statement released in Abuja on Wednesday, Attahiru Jega, Chairman, INEC, also affirmed the commitment of the electoral body to ensuring that the scheduled election is free and fair.
“The principles that have guided the work of this commission are transparency, honesty and creation of a level playing field for all political parties and their candidates. The commission remains committed to these principles,” Jega said.
“Consequently, INEC is deeply concerned about unfolding events in Edo State which are capable of overheating the polity and posing a fundamental threat to the integrity of the impending governorship election and indeed the stability of our democracy.
“In order to avert further deterioration of the situation, the commission has invited the Chairmen and Secretaries (National and State) as well as candidates of all the parties contesting the governorship election in Edo State namely, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Labour Party (LP), National Conscience Party (NCP), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP) to a meeting at the National Headquarters of the Commission on Friday, May 18, 2012 to address the concerns of all stakeholders.
“The commission wishes to reassure political parties, candidates and indeed all Nigerians of its unequivocal commitment to conducting free, fair and credible governorship election in Edo State,” Jega added.