Stakeholders unite against campaign of calumny
APPARENTLY piqued by the politics of slander at rallies and in media adverts instead of issue-based campaigns, stakeholders at a one-day interactive session on the 2015 general elections in Lokoja Wednesday condemned this development.
The seminar, which was organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) drew participants from political parties, religious bodies, civil society organisations and others.
President of the National Council of women Society Kogi State chapter, Hajia Sufua Aduke Kabiru appealed to political parties to desist from using children as thugs, thereby truncating their prospects for better future.
State chairman of inter party council, Ibrahim Itodo asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to caution the Media Director of Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode against his statements against the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
He also asked the party to stop forthwith the offensive documentary on NTA, which is directed at the APC flag bearer.
Director General of the National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri who was represented by the Director, Political and Civic Education in the Agency, Ngozi Ekeoba condemned politicians for their utterances that are capable of causing breakdown of law and order.
In his words, “I urge the media to be unbiased in their reports. Your influence on the public should not be misused. Do not use your pen to cause problems that will smear the image of the nation.
“Nigeria is bigger than any person, so the peace, unity and stability of the nation must be pursued at all cost by every Nigerian.”
The State Director of NOA, Chief Ibikunle Medubi said the interactive session was packaged for various stakeholders to enable them make their inputs, on how to achieve successful polls devoid of rancour and violence.
“More frustrating is that public office is no longer considered as avenue for rendering service but to pursue selfish interests. As stakeholders, your contributions and actions after this forum will go a long way in addressing these wrong perception.”
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hussaini Halilu Pai who was represented by Director, Voters Education, Daniel Kure, said it is important to emphasize that peaceful elections are sacrosanct to consolidate and deepen democracy.
He added that no matter how free and fair elections outcome may be it would loose it’s essence of consolidating democracy if the aftermath is conflict ridden and violent.
Pai stated that it would also undermine the credibility of the electoral process.
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