Less than 48 hours to the presidential and National Assembly election, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II, on Thursday, urged Nigerians not to allow the current discomfort across the land occasioned by the redesign of naira policy and fuel scarcity to discourage them from exercising their civic responsibilities on Saturday.
He further admonished them to troop out in large numbers to vote for the candidates of their choice during the election.
Balogun, in a statement made available by his personal assistant on media, Oladele Ogunsola, said, “There’s the tendency for people to be apathetic to the election having been wearied by the prevailing problems, but that’s not the best way to react. I empathize with our people, but I will want them not to see apathy as a way of getting back at the government for the unpalatable situation.
“Election is part of the civic responsibilities of every good citizen and should any eligible person stay away from the poll, it is a demonstration of the opposite of good which is bad. No government can do everything, not even the governments of the so-called advanced countries, so, we owe it a duty to ourselves and our unborn children to be part of the process of bringing on board another government.
“We are about beginning another journey of four years and whatever we do now as far as the elections are concerned will play a very serious significantt purpose in our respective lives in the next four years. So, the message to all is that, please, don’t abandon the poll, go out and vote for the candidate of your choice. It is by going out to cast your votes that you would prevent others from choosing your leaders for you.
“In doing that, please, let’s be orderly and peaceful in our conduct. We must all be conscious that by being unruly and trouble makers at the venue of the election, we are indirectly creating problems for our preferred candidates because the electoral umpire has every right under the law to cancel elections in any place where the atmosphere is less conducive for proper conduct of election.”
Balogun commended the electoral umpire for the assurances given to Nigerians that it would give the country a credible, free, fair and free from fear election, stressing that the body has so far demonstrated commitment to the pledge of good conduct of the 2023 polls, adding that, “So far so good, the electoral body has been faithful to its mandate as well as its time-table and it is hopeful that it would finish well.
“All eyes are on you, INEC, for an election that all of us can be proud of. Not only in Nigeria are you being watched, but from across the globe. Nigeria is the central focus of Africa and whatever we do is like we are projecting the entire continent. So, you cannot afford to fail and it is gratifying to note according to reports that the Federal Government has given you the maximum support necessary for effective and efficient service delivery.” The monarch added.