Former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has blamed governors for electoral violence that has been experienced in past elections, saying they contribute to chaos by funding thugs
Oshiomhole stated this on Tuesday in Abuja during a citizens’ election dialogue on the theme, “What makes a good election in Nigeria,” asking political leaders to support the efforts of security operatives in ensuring the 2023 elections are violence-free.
The APC chieftain equally called for synergy between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political leaders, and security agencies.
“When I was a governor and I mean this, you can ask [former] President Goodluck Jonathan, I did say at a meeting at the villa that sometimes governors contribute to election violence because AK-47 is not as cheap as buying akara,” he said.
“And when you see many young men who are unemployed wielding AK-47s, who is providing them? So the political leadership has a responsibility, and we need to take that responsibility.
“If 500 voters choose to resort to violence, how many policemen do you want to deploy? Let us accept that as political parties, we agree that in the course of the campaigning, at every point, we must emphasise that this election is about freedom to choose and that what is more important is the process, not even the outcome.”
Noting that the weapons used by disruptors cannot be easily obtained, the ex-governor commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in tackling the nation’s security challenges.
Oshiomhole equally praised Buhari for telling the world leaders during the last United National General Assembly in New York of his administration’s commitment in conduct a free and fair election in 2023.
“Police sending two or ten men to a location doesn’t necessarily guarantee security. I’ve been a victim of election rigging which was why I launched ‘one man one vote’ because if it’s about the survival of the fittest, people like me can’t get elected.
“The ingredients for free and fair elections don’t just lie with INEC. Escorting the materials to make sure they’re not hijacked by hoodlums is a function of security and the president has a duty to ensure that the security forces are not only briefed that they mustn’t be partisan but that they have the support and logistics they need to discharge their responsibilities,” he added.