Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi says he would strive hard to ensure that the Nov. 16 governorship poll in the state was rancour-free and credible.
The governor gave the assurance on Thursday in Lokoja at a stakeholders meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), to interface with political parties, their candidates, security agencies and other interested parties.
Bello assured stakeholders of his commitment to democratisation, stressing that the people of the state were law-abiding.
He further emphasised the need to protect the integrity of the election process.
He noted that huge investment in the security subsector in the state had empowered security agencies not to allow miscreants to take laws into their hands, adding that men of the Nigerian Police have been very professional in the area of election conduct.
He noted that the last primary elections in the state were pointers to his assertion, saying the primaries held by his party, the APC was free, fair, credible and transparent without a trace of violence.
“On Jan. 26, 2016, I swore to an oath to defend the people of Kogi and I am doing that very well.
”We have invested so much in that sector and have continued to work with all security agencies to ensure a secured state beyond the election period.
”The situation is not what is being painted out there. I did not come into office through violence and if by the grace of God I ascend the seat again, it shall not be through violence,” Bello said.
He, therefore, called on other candidates to play the game according to the rules, saying the people of the state were very civil and had demonstrated their civility on several occasions including in the conduct of the last election.
”My party never orchestrated violence in any election and as the leader of the party, I will never allow anybody to engage in any form of violence,” Bello restated.
The governor urged the APC supporters to remain calm and law-abiding at all times, adding that election was not war and that he would never allow the act of criminality to take place before, during and after the election.