GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State yesterday stressed the need for major organs of government including the Presidency, security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be sensitised on the need to create a level-playing field for all participants in electoral contests.
Oshiomhole, made the recommendation at a one-day sensitisation workshop organised by the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Inter Party Affairs, for political parties and stakeholders in the July 14 gubernatorial election.
The governor, who commended the non-partisan role of the Federal Government in ensuring that the Edo governorship election was free and fair, also commended the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, for his transparency in the course of conducting elections in the country.
The governor, who said the quality of 2011 general elections was a reflection of the quality of character and integrity of President Goodluck Jonathan and that of Jega, said no expense should be spared by parties involved in ensuring that the wishes of the people were not thwarted in the forthcoming poll.
Even though he admitted that the workshop was expedient and timely, Oshiomhole noted that the aforestated organs of government needed even more sensitisation than the candidates and the electorate at this point in the history of our country.
“I must submit that INEC, the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Army and the Presidency are the ones, who need to be sensitised about issues affecting the electoral process in the state,” he said.
He tasked the organisers of the forum saying, “when you have sensitised us, you also have to go to Abuja” to sensitise those who claim the fate of Edo governorship election would be decided over there.
He cautioned that all ad hoc staff, to be used by INEC must be screened according to stipulated guidelines, adding that the government and stakeholders must put Nigerians first in whatever step they were taking.