2019 elections: Group launches campaign against electoral violence

2019 elections: Group launches campaign against electoral violence

- As Nigeria prepares for the 2019 general election, a campaign against violence has been launched by a civil society organisation

- The group said it'll collaborate with other groups to embark on campaign tour of the country during the campaign

- The move is geared towards raising awareness that will engender peace, before, during and after elections

A civil society organisation, Youth Empowerment Solutions (YES), has launched a campaign against violence as Nigeria prepares for the 2019 general elections scheduled for February 16 and March 2.

The campaign tagged 'I Stand 4 Peace' is geared towards raising awareness that will engender peace, before, during and after elections.

Speaking at a press briefing/media launch of the campaign on Monday, January 21, Oche-Precious Edeh, the convener of the group, said YES will collaborate with other groups to embark on campaign tour of the country during the campaign.

He also lamented over the rising tension in the country due to the activities of political actors.

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His words: “As another round of general elections come upon us, it is important for us to not only recall, but to also internalise the lessons of four yeas ago.

“As it was then, so it is now, with rising tension in the land, and with the sometimes unpatriotic actions and inactions of political actors, throwing all caution to the winds and brazenly courting violence."

He further revealed that YES was working on plans to petition the International Criminal Court (ICC) against perpetrators and sponsors of violence in the general elections.

“As a deterrence to violence, we shall be tracking and calling out those who sponsor violence and those who carry out the act and we shall be urging the international community including the ICC.

“This is for them to take notice and not hesitate to sanction any political actor, candidate, political party and their sponsors who promote violence and undertake any of such.

“We will also be monitoring those who alter statements that can instigate violence before, during and after the elections," he stated

He then called on youths to shun violence and urged elder statesmen, religious and traditional leaders, political actors and Nigerians to replace love for power with love for peace.

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Also speaking, Pastor Osere Daniel, board member, YES, said ethnicity and religion were not what divided a nation but differences in interest, adding that all interest should be on peace.

He added that the elections would come and go but Nigeria would remain; stressing that the interest of the country should be upheld above self interest for the sake of democracy.

Meanwhile, YIAGA Africa’s Watching The Vote (WTV) has commenced a nationwide advocacy visit to election stakeholders in Nigeria.

The largest citizen movement committed to credible elections in Nigeria, says the move is in a bid to, “share the promises of the WTV project, discuss the deployment plans for the 2019 elections, seek stakeholder buy-in and explore areas of collaboration as well as to provide information on the ongoing pre-election observation across Nigeria.”

This was disclosed in a statement sent to Legit.ng on Tuesday, January 15, by the project director of YIAGA Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu.

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