A group of election observers on Tuesday advised Edo Government to declare March 2 public holiday because of local government elections scheduled for March 3 in the state.
The group, under the aegis of Forum of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, gave the advice at a news conference in Benin.
The group’s Leader, Fidelis Nweke, said that the public holiday would enable Civil Servants and others to travel back to their communities to exercise their franchise.
Nweke said that the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) should engage in massive voter education.
He called on political parties not to boycott the election.
Nweke said that boycotting the election would negatively impact on the nation’s democratic growth.
“We gather that some political parties will not participate in the March 3 Local Government election; boycotting elections are not healthy for our democracy,” he said.
“We commend EDSIEC for a wonderful preparation in providing all the necessary logistics and materials in time.
“We observe that EDSIEC is committed to conducting a free, fair and credible election by providing a level playing ground for all political parties, he said.
Nweke said that the team, which arrived Edo on February 19, went round the state and consulted with various stakeholders such as Security Agencies, political parties and members of the electorate to ascertain the level of their preparedness.