Members of Edo Civil society Organizations better known as EDOCSO’s have embarked on voter sensitization/ education to ward-off public contempt that could lead to low voter turn-out during Saturday Governorship election in Edo State.
The development followed the attacks that characterized the campaigns of two dominant political actors in the elections, which may considered could send jitters down the spines of some eligible voters to to vote on election day.
To ward-off any form of uncertainly, members of the group, defied showers that took better part of Tuesday, reminding eligible voters in the State to keep a date with history by coming out en masse to exercise their franchise without any fear of harassment or molestation.
The Coordinator-General of the group, Leftist Omobude Agho, represented by his deputy, Annie Iroro, urged residents of the State to shun violence before, during and after election in the interest of peace and democracy.
He however, frowned at the reported cases of violence in some quarters and that it is important to drum the message of peace in the ears of the youth ahead the election.
“It has been a culture for EDOCSO to always come out in every election to talk to the people about a violence free election and this is not different. I will not say it is because anything happening right now, but I will say yes, you know we have been following the politicking that has been going on for the past few months.
“We have seen and heard of violence in some of parts of Edo State and so, that is why we have come out again to do what we always do, talking to the people.
“We are also here to tell them that this election is not war. They should come out and vote. Edo is for all of us and not one political party. That is the essence of us coming out today to tell our people to come out and vote and those that are planning violence on that day should eschew violence”, he said.
Addressing newsmen on the sideline of the rally, Public Relations Officer of the Edo Civil Society Organizations, Leftist Osazee Edigin, charged the citizens of the State to keep a date with history and perform their Civil responsibility, assuring that votes will count.
“We have taken time to observe the political tensions in Edo State, and I think that also informed the direction of this year’s sensitisation.
“We needed to let the populace understand that their votes count and that they should not be intimidated by the level of suspected violence that tends to erupt during this era of politics.
“We also want to let the people understand that their vote is their civic right which they must exercise because nobody takes that from them”, he said.
He further advised politicians to sell their manifestoes to the electorate and stop enticing them with money just as he also cautioned the youth not to mortgage their future and that of the State for their pecuniary benefits but to vote for their wellbeing and development of the State.
He also counted on the assurances of security agencies to protect lives and property, with a caution to live up to their billings.
Our Correspondent reports that EDCSOs is one of the few Organizations that has kept its integrity intact despite attempts by by non-state actors to swing the lead for their own personal gains.