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President Muhammadu Buhari has advised electorate in Ogun State to vote for the candidates of their choice in the forthcoming general election, without coercion.
The president gave the advice on Monday at a town hall meeting with Ogun State traditional rulers in Abeokuta, the state capital.
He called on the monarchs to educate their subjects on how to conduct themselves peacefully during and after the polls.
Buhari spoke against the background of a near violence that almost marred the Ogun Presidential campaign rally held at the M.K.O Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta.
The two factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the candidate of the state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, on the platform of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) had clashed at the rally ground.
Our reporter at the venue said that Governor Ibikunle, whose second tenure will expire May 29, 2019, about three months from now, had openly asked Ogun people to vote for President Buhari of the APC and vote for APM candidate in the March 2nd Governorship election.
Missiles began to fly towards the Presidential podium when the former Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola mounted the podium and was speaking in Yoruba language in favour of the APC governorship candidate.
The confusion, which saw many party supporters trouping out of the stadium as the atmosphere was charged, intensified when the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, mounted the podium to speak and present the party flag to APC governorship candidate, Dapo Abiodun.
But President, who looked worried as he addressed the traditionalrulers, told the royal fathers that there was no need for people not to be violent on the issue of election.
“I appeal to our royal fathers to educate their subjects on the need to show respect and vote whoever they want to vote for without being violent.”
He promised to look into the requests put forward by the traditional rulers even as he expressed satisfaction with the great roles his vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has been playing in the Federal Government efforts at correcting the wrongs of the past.
Speaking earlier, the chairman of the Ogun State Traditional Council and Alake, Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, thanked President Buhari for bringing Nigeria back on track after years of mismanagement.
He expressed gratitude to the President for many things he had done in favour of the state, including network of roads, rail lines, honouring of late Chief M.K.O. Abiola and above all, the choice of Professor Osinbajo as his second in command.
The Alake assured President Buhari of over 60 percent votes from Ogun State in the Saturday Presidential poll.