The Special Representative of the Secretary General, United Nations Office in West Africa and the Sahel, UNOWAS, Dr. Muhammad Ibn Chambas, has charged political office seekers to engage in issue based and competitive campaigns towards the 2019 general elections in Nigeria.
He stated this today at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi during a courtesy call on Governor Samuel Ortom.
Dr. Chambas urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the federal government to improve on the structures built by former President Goodluck Jonathan to conduct a credible, free and fair election in 2019.
He stated that the electorate should be allowed to come out and exercise their franchise without any form of intimidation, stressing that it was only by so doing that they could elect leaders of their choice.
Dr. Chambas also charged the media to play its part which he noted was necessary to the conduct of a fair, free and credible election in any society.
While commending Governor Ortom for putting in place necessary facilities for the UN to operate in the state, Dr. Chambas described Benue as a great partner of the UN, expressing the hope that challenges confronting the state would soon be a thing of the past.
Governor Ortom while commending the UN Secretary General’s representative for his determination to visit the state despite initial hiccups, stated that his coming had added value to the state.
He acknowledged threats by the opposition to use federal might to rig the 2019 general elections, saying Benue people would ensure their votes count in 2019.
The Governor stated that Benue people have faith in the ability of INEC to conduct credible elections in 2019 and expressed hope that the rule of law would be allowed to prevail.
He commended the intervention of the UN to the humanitarian crisis in Benue State, assuring that INEC had also put in place necessary arrangements to ensure that those in Internally Displaced Persons camps vote in next year’s general elections.