Ebonyi - Barely 48 hours to the Ebonyi local government elections, some residents of Abakaliki on Thursday cautioned politicians against unruly behaviour during and after the exercise.
Speaking in an opinion poll, the residents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki that the politicians should conduct themselves properly to ensure peaceful and credible elections and reflect the aspiration of the electorate.
The residents appealed to the politicians to conduct themselves within the provisions of the electoral law to guard against violence before or after the elections.
They maintained that a violence-free poll was critical to deepening the nation’s democracy at the grassroots for enhanced rural development.
One of the residents, Emmanuel Okorie, said: "This election should not be seen as a do-or-die affair and our politicians and their political parties should ensure they adhere strictly to the electoral guidelines.
“Again, the electoral body should maintain neutrality and provide a level playground for all the contestants in the election.
“What is important to us is the general acceptability of the credibility of the outcomes and the electoral body has a major role in this regard.’’
Also, Dominic Nkwuda said that winning the poll was not as important as the process that produced such a winner.
"Therefore, the electoral commission should endeavour to make the process transparent so that the outcome will not be questioned,’’ he said.
Mary Agbo and Ifeanyi Onwe, on their part, cautioned the Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission to avoid any act that could breach the rights of the electorate to exercise their franchise.
“We are desirous of this local government election because of its importance to us as people living at the grassroots.
“However, we are warning the ruling party and the electoral commission to avoid any act that will breach the right of the people to exercise their franchise,’’ Onwe said.
The polls, scheduled to hold on Oct. 6, are for the election of the chairmen and the councillors for the 13 local government areas in the state.