The Lagos State Chapter of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) on Tuesday urged parties fielding candidates in the forthcoming council polls not to sponsor violence or any other acts that could undermine the success of the election.
Mr Charles Odugbesi, Chairman, Strategic Planning Committee of the council, gave the advice in an interview with the Newsmen in Lagos.
He appealed to parties and their candidates not to see the July 22 election as a do-or-die affair, urging them to approach it with every sense of responsibility.
Odugbesi said rigging was a major albatross to credible elections in the country and appealed to politicians to shun the practice.
“Our advice to the political parties and the candidates contesting the July 22 council election is to abide by the electoral rules and shun acts of violence during the election.
“They should avoid do-or-die politics, because an election is a process to get leaders and should not be a matter of life and death,’’ he said.
Odugbesi appealed to politicians to display sportsmanship during and after the election by accepting credible results in good faith and embracing one another.
He said IPAC, as a council set up by the Federal Government in states to promote inter-party harmony, would do its best to ensure the election was violence-free.
The IPAC official said the council was planning a rally to mobilise and sensitise politicians across all the 22 registered parties in the state on the need to free and fair council polls in the state.
He said that participants would wear the colours of their parties at the rally and share ideas on how to have a peaceful election.
“The focus of the rally is to let politicians of the different parties know that they are not fighting, that it is just an election and it should go on peacefully.
“Everybody will wear the colours of their political parties and there will be warm interaction and deliberations.
“The message here is that even as we belong to the different political parties, we are one, and that we should work together for the success of the election,’’ he said.
Odugbesi said IPAC was working hand in hand with the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) with a view to achieving free and fair council poll.
The LASIEC has fixed July 22 for the council election and July 29 for run-off.
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