As the campaigns for the 2019 general elections gathers momentum, immediate past President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has urged political office seekers to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship devoid of rancour, acrimony or bitterness.
He counseled, “ Let the campaigns be issue based according to the rules. There is no need for acrimony , mudslinging or bitterness. Let the will of the people prevail”, Senator said yesterday .
Addressing Benue State Gubernatorial candidates and their running mates during a non-partisan parley he convened in his Otukpo, Benue State country home , Senator Mark implored politicians to avoid any action or utterance that could heat up the polity and cause disaffection.
He specifically cautioned the gubernatorial contenders and their followers against resort to violence during and after the elections as that would only aggravate the situation.
Senator Mark prayed for a violence-free and credible elections adding, “ We are one. Elections will come and go but the people remain”.
Reiterating his resolve to play the role of a statesman in the contemporary politics of Nigeria, he stressed “Elections come every four years. If you don’t win today, you can win tomorrow. So there is no need for desperation or resort to self help”.
In his remarks, the Governor of Benue State and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), Dr. Samuel Ortom, who spoke through his Deputy, Chief Benson Abuonu said the state government ascribed totally to the non violent, free and fair polls without rancour or bitterness.
He praised Senator Mark for the peace move, pointing out that the convocation of the parley for peace to reign during and after the elections showed that the convener is a true leader of the people.
All Progressive Congress (APC) Governorship candidate, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, in his message, prayed for a peaceful conduct of the forthcoming elections. He thanked the convener of the parley for the bold steps taken towards ensuring free and fair elections in the state.
Labour Party Governorship candidate, Dr. Paul Angya, said the glaring underdevelopment in the state over the years necessitated his ambition for the plum position in order to make positive changes in the state.
Dr. Dickson Akor of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Dr. Stephen Akuma of National Conscience Party ( NCP), Dr. Emmanuel Ayua of Young Peoples Party (YPP) and Mrs Ene Edeh of Peoples’ Trust (PT) in their separate remarks pledged to carry out the electioneering campaigns according to the rules of the game.
They however demanded a level playing field that would guarantee free, fair and credible elections.