- The Kaduna Peace Commission is collaborating with the United Nations to sensitise the electorate to avoid election violence
- The commission says the collaboration is geared towards forestalling a repeat of the violence that erupted in the state after the 2011 general elections
- Nigeria's 2019 general elections will begin with the commencement of the presidential election on February 16
Kaduna Peace Commission has said it is collaborating with the United Nations to sensitise the electorate to avoid a repeat of the violence that erupted in the state after the 2011 general elections.
The executive vice chairman of the commission, Priscilla Ankut, made the disclosure on Wednesday, January 30, at the opening of a High Level Dialogue Forum on Peaceful Elections in Kaduna state, NAN reports.
Legit.ng gathers that Ankut explained that the dialogue was organised to bring together key stakeholders to commit themselves to peaceful conduct during the elections, in view of the state’s history of election violence.
She noted that the state is still rated as potential flash point as the general elections approach, but said the commission “is putting all mechanisms in place to ensure that elections violence doesn’t repeat itself in the state".
According to her, although the state’s population is mainly composed of the youths, but lack of adequate opportunities has made them vulnerable to manipulation by selfish interests.
She, however, assured that the peace commission would continue to manage conflicts and ensure that the narrative of violence is changed and harmonious coexistence prevails.
The vice chairman stressed that the peace commission has been meeting with various stakeholders towards peace building by engaging multiple actors.
According to her, the engagement facilitated the signing of a peace accord by all political party candidates, who agreed to avoid thuggery and hate speeches.
Ankut disclosed that the commission had set up an election monitoring committee consisting of party leaders and other stakeholders to monitor the conduct of campaigns.
She cautioned religious leaders to avoid partisanship, and encourage their congregations to embrace peaceful conduct during the elections.
Ankut said: “We are also engaging youths and preaching the message of peace while calling on media to ensure that their reports are based on issues that would douse tension and avoid spreading hate speeches by politician."
In his remarks, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, UN special representative in West Africa and the Sahel, called on all stakeholders in the election process to focus on issues, and shun spreading hate speeches and messages to bring about sustained peace and harmony in the state and across the country.
He reiterated UN support in promoting peaceful elections in Nigeria and consolidating democracy in line with ECOWAS principle on democracy and good governance.
Chambas said: “UN will continue to amplify that national peace committee and stakeholders double their efforts toward peaceful elections and guarantee fundamental human rights of citizens.
“Nigeria occupies front line position in West Africa, that is why it’s not surprising that the lesson of Nigeria is not for Nigeria alone but entire West Africa.
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“This is our biggest country in the continent and strategically what goes wrong here is for all and if it doesn’t go well it affects all.
“That is why we want to see Nigeria prosper, if Nigeria is stable and prosperous we will all celebrate."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, vowed to solely man the result collation centre, stressing that he would not share his constitutional responsibility as the chairman of the collation secretariat with anybody.
The INEC boss said his decision was in order to ensure transparency and build confidence in the electoral process.
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