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INEC Urges Nigerians to Shun Violence During 2023 Polls

by News Desk
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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday charged Nigerians to be responsible and avoid violence during the 2023 general election.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in charge of Kwara State, Mal Attahiru Madami gave the charge while speaking at the 2023 annual lecture of the National League of Veteran Journalists (NALVEJ), Kwara state council in Ilorin.

The REC who allayed the fears of Nigerians concerning the 2023 general elections, declaring that the elections will hold as planned, said that the commission is prepared to sustain the peaceful conduct of elections in the state, added that the state had been recognized for achieving peaceful conduct of elections over the years, especially in 2019.

While assuring the political parties of an unbiased process in the elections in the state, Madami said that one of the reasons for violence during any election is when the umpire is biased.

He also identified the presence of adequate security; involving all law enforcement agencies, as a measure to achieve peaceful conduct of the elections.

“Let’s sustain the peace in the state.

“Elections can be violent when the umpire is biased. Adequate security should be provided and be civil.

INEC has assured that election will hold despite the doubts of some Nigerians. Youths should be admonished to shun violence. Women should do that, especially mothers. We should all preach unity. Violence will take us nowhere,” he said.

The State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq who was represented by his special adviser on Strategy, Alh Saadu Salahu, restated his administration’s continued support for the media and newsmen, serving and retiring in the state.

He said his administration is committed to the peaceful coexistence of the people of the state, adding that Kwara remains one of the most secure states in the country as attested to by the Inspector General of Police during his recent visit to the state.

AbdulRazaq highlighted the achievements of his administration in health, education, road infrastructure, and civil service sectors, adding that efforts were being intensified to industrialize the state and ensure regular electricity supply.

Chairman of the occasion, Prof Olu Obafemi described the theme of the lecture as very apt, adding that democracy could not thrive if there are no free and fair elections.

He urged Nigerians not to vote along ethnic and religious lines to safeguard the unity and development of the country.

Delivering his lecture, titled: “Towards A Peaceful 2023 General Elections, Mal. Yusuf Ali (SAN), said that election is very important and constitutional in the nation’s democratic governance.

He said that the Electoral Act has stipulated processes and laws governing elections, unlike what was obtained in the olden days when people had to fight to win positions.

Represented by a senior lawyer in his chamber, Mr. Haruna Mahmud, Ali urged Nigerians to get copies of the Electoral Act, saying that one does not need to fight over elections disputes, but to approach a tribunal, “as laws are adequate to take care of all grievances”.

In his goodwill message, the Emir of Ilorin, Alh Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, who was represented by the district head of Owode, Alh Sidiq Kayode, admonished Nigerians to peaceful before, during, and after the elections.

Earlier, the Chairman of NALVEJ, Alh Tunde Akanbi, had appealed to the political class to play politics according to the laid down rules and regulations.

“Since we still have 44 days to go to the polls, precisely on the 25th, February 2023, politicians and their supporters can have a change of mind. I mean positively for those that still hold the erroneous belief that it is either them or the elections will not hold.

“I also plead with the youths not to allow themselves to be used as weapons to truncate the elections while social media/online handlers should guide against any act that can set the nation on fire before, during, and after the polls.

“To the umpire of the election, INEC and security agencies as well as the judiciary, including the media, we urge you all to maintain neutrality and allow the will of God and that of the electorate to prevail,” Akanbi added.

The event was attended by frontline traditional rulers, the state FRSC commandant, the state NSCDC commandant, the Police command commissioner, the state director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Federal Commissioner of the National Population Commission (NPC), Alh Razak Gidado, special assistant on Religion, Alh Ibrahim Danmaigoro, former grand Kadi, Justice Salihu Mohammed, Chairman, Kwara NUJ, AbdulLateef Ahmed and media executives amongst others.


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