The All Progressives Congress has welcomed the statement of President Goodluck Jonathan in his New Year message on Thursday restating his commitment to the conduct of free, fair and violence-free elections next month.
The party, however, urged the President to match his words with action.
In a statement in Lagos on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party expressed satisfaction that Mr. Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party had come out publicly to join the APC in pledging commitment to successful and violence-free polls in February.
”In a statement on December 28, 2014, we assured Nigerians that we would do everything in our power to make the 2015 elections violence-free.
“Since then, PDP National Chairman Adamu Muazu and the President have joined us in making similar pledges. This is a welcome development that will gladden the hearts of our citizens who are very apprehensive about the forthcoming elections”, it said.
APC, however, said the best way to make the elections free, fair and devoid of violence was for the Federal Government to ensure a level playing field for all the contesting parties by not tampering with the independence of INEC; not using the security agencies to oppress and intimidate the opposition and not deliberately disenfranchising qualified voters.
”If an election is free, fair and transparent and seen to be so by all, it will be easy for all concerned to accept the outcome, and there will be no violence. Violence only occurs when there is a realisation that the process has been skewed against some and in favour of others”, the party said.
The opposition party restated its assurance to Nigerians and the international community that it would do all in its power to make sure that the 2015 election is violence-free
”We also restate our stand that even with the little time left for the election to hold, a meeting of the leadership of the two main political parties, the APC and the PDP, will send a powerful message to our compatriots and indeed the international community and douse the tension that is building up ahead of the elections”, APC said.