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General Yakubu Gowon, former Head of State, while calling on all security agencies in the country, on Wednesday said that adequate security should be deployed to ensure safety of members of the National Youth Service Corps participating in the February elections.
Gowon also called on all Nigerians to have confidence in the ability of INEC to conduct free, fair and credible presidential election on February 14.
See Excerpts: “Yes, there are anxieties in various places, we pray that God will touch the minds of those with evil intents. What we want in Nigeria is peaceful election, to be free and fair, and I appeal to all Nigerians, especially the political parties and the leadership of those parties, to make sure that all their supporters vote peacefully in that election.
“It is important that the nation has confidence in the chairman of INEC; if we start accusing each other, who do we want to be there? Is it your own man or who? It is important to have peaceful election.”
On inciting statements by politicians and their supporters, Gowon said it was incumbent on the leaders to restrain themselves and their followers to avoid violence.
He said, “I hope they will restrain some of their extreme supporters who are making extreme statements that enrage the other side, and before we know what is happening, we are in trouble.
“We are great people in every respect; some time the way we behave towards one another is unbecoming. I was outside the country but when I came back the briefing I received made me very sorry. Threats by various groups, accusations and counter accusations, that is not right, we should embrace one another.
“We have two good candidates and let it be that it is the people that decide; it is their votes that must count. Let us accept the final decision from INEC; it is the only authority. I will say to all Nigerians to go ahead and vote freely. Let us have peaceful elections so that we can do our country proud.”