From Okwe Obi, Abuja
National Legal Adviser of Accord Party (AP), Maxwell Mgbudem, has called on political parties and their candidates participating in the Osun State governorship poll to play by the rules, stressing that rigged exercise would not be accepted.
Mgbudem, who is also the Deputy National Chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), emphasized the need for politicians and other key stakeholders, including the security agencies and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to resist all pressure, uphold free and fair contest in the election.
In a statement yesterday, he stressed that the people of Osun state can only accept credible election as a true reflection of the wishes of majority.
He even condemned the increasing menace of vote buying by politicians, which he charged the law enforcement agents to apprehend anyone culpable, irrespective of social status.
He also said Accord had a viable and popular candidate in the election, hence he charged voters to reject the temptation of selling their votes for financial reward, but to vote their conscience based on the candidate they consider with capacity to bring development and succor in line with the yearnings and aspirations of Osun people.
While he cautioned against the danger of conflagration which may arise from any attempt to subvert the popular choice of the voters, Mgbudem explained that democracy is worthless if it does not reflect the desire and true mandate of the majority of the citizens.
To this end, he challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Civil Society Organization (CSOs), police, Civil Defense, political parties, politicians, local and international election observers, to be on guard and ensure that voters are not disenfranchised, the exercise starts as at when scheduled, and that the outcome is acceptable to all participants.
This, he said, is the least that the people of Osun will accept, adding that anything short of it will be a call to anarchy, which may worsen the tension in the country.
In addition, he said how the Osun governorship election turns out will go a long way to determine the zeal and enthusiasm with which Nigerians generally will participate in the 2023 general election, arguing that both INEC and security agencies should not mismanage the litmus test which he said the Osun poll represents ahead of 2023.