Ahmadu Bello Foundation calls for peaceful, hitch-free elections
The Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation has called on Nigerians to eschew violence and promote peace in the forthcoming elections.
Dr Shattima Ali, the Managing Director of the Foundation, who made the call on Tuesday at a news conference in Kaduna, said that elections should not be seen as a do-or-die exercise.
He said that the citizens should rather view the elections as a means of enhancing the nation’s democracy and socio-economic wellbeing.
He urged the electorate to come out en mass on the election days and vote for candidates of their choice in a peaceful manner.
Besides, Ali advised the electorate and the contestants, in particular, to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship, while considering the interests of the country when making choices.
He warned the politicians against engaging in “dirty politics’’, which was often fuelled and disseminated via different communication channels.
“Politicians should eschew hate speeches, usually disseminated through the social media,’’ he said.
Ali also appealed to politicians to make pragmatic efforts to strengthen the Nigerian democracy by focusing on issues that would promote unity among the citizens and engender the country’s development.
He, however, underscored the need for every Nigerian to participate in the fight against corruption in all the nation-building processes.
He also warned the citizens to refrain from abusing the electoral process, saying that the people should “not give in to the temptation of vote-buying so as not to subvert the collective will of all Nigerians for good governance’’.
Ali commended the youth for the political awareness which they displayed in the ongoing election campaigns, adding that they should also work for a peaceful conclusion of the political process.
“Come out en masse to exercise your right by voting for credible candidates.
“We call on all Nigerians, especially those in the North, to unite and be committed to living peacefully with one another, regardless of the outcome of the elections.
“We must never allow the North to suffer any more deaths and destruction of property, leading to hardship and increase in poverty for the people,’’ he added. (NAN)