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Mark urges violence-free polls

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Karls Tsokar (Abuja) and Isaac Taiwo (Lagos)   |   21 January 2015   |   8:43 pm  

• IG seeks NURTW’s support to curtail disorder 

• Group cautions on inflammatory statements 

AHEAD of President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to Benue State tomorrow, Senate President David Mark has predicted that People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will get no fewer than 85 per cent of votes cast in the forthcoming polls.

  Mark, who spoke from his country-home, Otukpo, Benue State, said that the ruling PDP has provided enough dividend of democracy to the people of Benue to guarantee an overwhelming victory.

  He said: “Given another opportunity, PDP-led government will advance on its service delivery to the people and make Nigeria much better.”

  He, therefore, appealed to the people of Benue State to come out in large number to welcome President Jonathan to the state on Thursday as he takes his campaign to the state.

 Meanwhile, the Inspector-General (IG) of Police, Suleiman Abba, has called on the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to co-operate with the security agencies in the build up to the general elections to forestall any act of violence.

  Abba, who made the call yesterday in Abuja at the launching of an election handbook to guide police personnel on their general conducts during the elections, said the assistance of the transport union is vital to the success of the elections.

  He said: “We want your assistance with regards to providing sufficient security during the 2015 general elections, how you will sensitise your workers on how to conduct themselves during the election. We want all used tyres idle in the parks to be removed and they must be taken away.

  “Sensitisation should be carried out to ensure that the apprehension that surrounds the anticipated violence after the elections is reduced. Identify persons with violent tendencies, assist us by giving us information on them, these are the ones that are used in violent conducts during elections. Do more in giving us information on persons that are threatening the conduct of free, safe and peaceful elections.”

  Also, the National Co-ordinator, Army of Democracy (AOD), Mr. John Obi, at a media briefing yesterday at FESTAC Town, Lagos, on 2015 elections and dangers ahead, has urged politicians, especially leadership of all the parties to tread with caution, warning that some of the methods being adopted to win the mind of electorate are capable of destroying democratic structures.

  According to Obi: “It is with pain we observe that Nigeria’s present crop of politicians, with exception of few, are a threat to democracy and it is glaring that the “Democracts” cannot guarantee the common unity of the country as politicians have become lords unto themselves.”

  Obi said further that the group has listened to the campaign speeches of President Goodluck Jonathan of PDP and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressives Congress (APC), the major opposition party in the presidential race and observed that they have lived above board.

  “The speeches are at best ‘un-presidential’ and lacking in ideas and conviction, punctuated by vituperations and “I wills” without “Hows”, he added.

  The IG further said: “If for any reason you are found to be involved in misconduct that is contrary to these provisions, the police act and regulations make appropriate punishment and sanctions. We will continue to sensitise everyone to understand our roles to also know the expected form of conduct from each and every one of us.” 

  The NURTW President, Najeem Yasin, said the union is prepared to partner with the security agencies and assures the IG of the preparedness of the transporters to give the required assistance to ensure a violence-free election.



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