2023: Diaspora group tasks parties, candidates on peace accord
A diaspora think-tank, Nigerian Global Roundtable, has expressed concern over the radicalisation of the Nigerian political space by actors and parties ahead of the 2023 general elections.
In a statement, yesterday, by its Chairman and General Secretary, Dr. Jones Edobor and Dr. Remi Alao, the group urged stakeholders to adhere strictly to dictates of the peace accord signed recently by them, while also calling on the presidential candidates to see it as a duty to caution their supporters to shun violence and inciting remarks and be open to opposing views.
The body said: “Presidential candidates have a responsibility to ask their supporters to desist from online bullying and violent verbal exchange.
“Presidential candidates have a responsibility to ask their supporters to desist from all actions that could raise anxiety culminating in electoral violence during the campaigns.
“We, therefore, wish to call on all political parties, candidates, their supporters, the media and the authorities to respect the rules and additionally, ensure that election campaigns are a competition of ideas and political parties with different manifestoes are part of a democratic system in selecting a new leader.”
The statement demanded that politicians should focus on what they intend to do for Nigeria and not on slandering or attacking their rivals.
It added that billboards of opponents are legitimate ways of communication and should never be destroyed.
The group further encouraged Nigerians to actively participate in the coming polls.
It continued: “To ensure they elect credible, competent and capable leaders, Nigerians consider integrity, competence and zero tolerance for corruption.
“That INEC avoids bottlenecks for all Nigerians that are yet to collect their voter cards to enable all willing Nigerians to freely exercise their franchise.”
The think-tank also urged the electoral umpire to conduct its activities in a manner that guarantees fair and credible elections.
“They should eschew lies and propaganda, show dignity and advise their supporters to embrace peace. Their campaign should be issue-based.
“That irrespective of the ownership structure of the media houses, the media should be ethical enough to advise politicians to remain on the subject of their manifestation not blackmail opposition or slander others.
“That the electronic transmission of our election voting results is the law of the land and its legitimacy was affirmed by the Nigerian apex court.
“Therefore, no political party should truncate the established law by blackmail, extortion and/or intimidation of INEC staff,” it added.