Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on Wednesday decried what he described as “arbitrary arrests and intimidation” of members and supporters of the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party by security agencies, ahead of the governorship election on Saturday.
The PDP in Edo State had accused the Nigeria Police of “unwarranted arrests and harassment” of its members and supporters.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to Deputy President of the Senate on Media Mr. Uche Anichukwu on Wednesday, Ekweremadu called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene in the situation to ensure a free, fair and credible electoral process.
He said: “I am deeply distressed by the development, not just because I am a member of the PDP but, more importantly, because the PDP had taken our electoral process beyond where it is being dragged back to today.
“The greatest gift of democracy, which makes other blessings of democracy feasible, is the inalienable right of the people to elect their leaders of their own freewill in a free, fair and credible electoral process that must be devoid of all forms of intimidation.
“As a beneficiary of the electoral reforms and policy of non-interference in the electoral process exemplified by the immediate past PDP administration led by former President Goodluck Jonathan, I expect the APC-led Federal Government to immediately call the security agencies to order.
“If the APC-led FG cannot improve on the electoral process, I expect them to at least maintain the standards set by the PDP.”
Ekweremadu also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, political parties, political elite and the entire people of Edo to work for the progress of the country and the state by ensuring a “credible, violence-free and conclusive poll.”