The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) calls on Nigerians to embrace peace and eschew violence ahead of the 2023 general elections.
In a statement released in Abuja Thursday by the Director Overseeing the Office of the Director-General, IPCR, Gabriel B. Jiya, Esq, it noted that this election is a defining moment in the political anal of the country because of the innovative commitment of the President and the Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari in signing the new Electoral Act and the determination to bequeath to the nation a credible, peaceful, free and fair election.
According to the statement, “The Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has also called on the citizens to participate in the exercise as the state has put in place measures to ensure the security of lives and property.
“As a public agency, the Institute encourages political parties and their supporters to leverage on the goodwill of the President and relevant state agencies in ensuring that the election is peaceful, credible and violence-free.
“The recurring attacks on INEC, security and other public facilities are condemnable as they pose imminent threat to the electoral process and our hard earned democracy. In guarding constitutional democracy, citizens must shun political thuggery, hate speeches, fake news and divisive utterances.
“The Institute commends INEC for the preparations and assurances to the, political parties, electorates and the international community. We are confident that INEC will sustain the commitment by ensuring that the innovations introduced will help foster neutrality, transparency, fairness, credibility and professionalism during the exercise.
“Furthermore, the Institute applauds the security agencies for containing the existing and emerging threats to peace and security in the country, especially Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorism, armed banditry and violent separatist agitations.
“They have also assured citizens of their readiness to ensure that the election is violence-free and will deter criminal and other electoral malfeasances. The Institute urges the security agencies to maintain professionalism and non-partisanship in the discharge of their electoral duties.
“The IPCR encourages all Election Observers (domestic and international) to conduct their assignments in a way that will facilitate democratic consolidation, sustainable peacebuilding and good governance in Nigeria.
“As assured by the President, electorates should endeavor to exercise their civic rights and refrain from acts that would be inimical to the process as the outcome will be an added value to the processes of nation-building. We encourage political parties and their supporters to be modest and sensitive in the receiving the election outcomes as there are available constitutional platforms for seeking redress.
The Institute looks forward to a peaceful and violence-free election on Saturday, 25th February and Saturday, 11th March, 2023” the statement concluded.