As the people of Ondo State prepare for the forthcoming governorship election, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has observed that threats of violence and provocative utterances by politicians may mar the election, unless all sides in the political process exhibit high sense of democratic ethos and practices.

The Director General of the Agency, Dr. Garba Abari issued this advisory today while charging officers of the Agency responsible for voter education and sensitization to ensure that citizens of the State become conversant with the Voter Code of Conduct (VCC) for election during the COVID 19 pandemic issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

The Director General noted that stakeholders in the State, especially the political class, have a duty to work towards a peaceful election in line with the demands of universal democratic practices.

In his words: “We are calling on the political class to guard against the use of intemperate language capable of heating up the political space. In the same vein we call on political leaders to caution their followers against uncivil behaviour and thuggery and play the game in the spirit of good sportsmanship.

We should all have realised by now that winning an election should not be a do or die affair and that the lives of the people we want to serve are sacrosanct, and must remain so.
“For how long will Nigeria continue to withness bloodshed during elections and through that disenfranchise citizens because of the fearful atmosphere created by politicians. We expect them to be the defenders of democracy and not otherwise.

Political campaigns should therefore be issues based.” He added.
Speaking on the code of conduct for election during COVID 19 period, the Director General admonished the officers to step up their campaigns on the disease especially as it relates to wearing of facemasks by both officials and voters.

According to him, the new guidelines require early arrivals to polling stations, while voters showing signs of fever or coughing and sneezing will be requested to leave the queue and be attended to by designated officials.

The Governorship election in Ondo is slated for October, 2020.


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