The much-awaited November 11 Imo governorship election is now a matter of days from today. At the moment, political parties and their candidates are busy putting finishing touches to their campaigns.
It is expected that Imo citizens who are eligible to vote should file out en masse on Saturday, November 11, to perform their civil obligation and usher in the leadership they desire.
It is equally expected that critical stakeholders in the electoral system like the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, security agencies, election observers, media and political parties and their supporters, will do what is necessary to ensure a peaceful, free and fair governorship election in Imo state.
INEC and the security agencies in particular have much to do in this regard. The electoral commission should ensure that necessary logistics are put in place to ensure that election materials get to all the polling units in Imo early enough, as well as shun any temptation or pressure by desperate and unscrupulous politicians to divert election materials.
INEC should, in addition, ensure that all the guidelines for the conduct of the election including the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, and the iREV portal are adhered to and effectively used during voting and transmission of results.
This week’s Saturday governorship election in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa offers the commission another chance to atone for what transpired in the past exercises with the events of the last general elections in February and March still fresh in the minds of Nigerians.
The security operatives should act professionally by being neutral all- through the conduct of the election.
The media should endeavour to give accurate reportage to avoid misinformation which could cause problems or violence during the exercise.
Imo people should reflect on the situation on ground in order to take informed decisions on the choice of candidates to vote.
Cash-for-vote syndrome should be resisted as it could result in the election of wrong persons as leaders.
Imo voters ought to factor in the germane issues such as insecurity, mass unemployment, high cost of food, rising transport fares and cost of living, increasing poverty, dearth of industries, among others, before casting their votes.
Solution to these myriad of challenges bedeviling the state, ought to be on the front burner through out the remaining days of electioneering and in all election-related discusses.