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2023 elections : Religious leaders task political parties, candidates on issue-based, campaign

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
29 September 2022   |   1:59 pm
Christian and Muslim religious leaders under the aegis of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDPF) have called on political parties and candidates in the forthcoming 2023 general elections to ensure issue-based campaign and dismantle all structures that entrench hatred and electoral violence in the country

Implores Political actors, supporters to eschew violence

Christian and Muslim religious leaders under the aegis of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDPF) have called on political parties and candidates in the forthcoming 2023 general elections to ensure issue-based campaign and dismantle all structures that entrench hatred and electoral violence in the country

They urged Nigerians irrespective of their faith and religious affiliations to save the country from the crisis by stopping the spread of division and focusing on promoting unity, peace and love in this election season for the overall development of the country.

In a statement signed by the Co-Chairmen, Bishop Sunday Onuoha and Alhaji Kunle Sanni Ishaq, IDPF noted that the country is faced with lots of issues threatening its peaceful coexistence and called on Political actors and their supporters to embrace peace; eschew violence, discrimination and hatred, and play politics without bitterness, in order to remain resolute in the development of the country.

According to the religious leaders, achieving true peace entails much more than mere speculations on what needs to be done to change the situation around insecurity and hate speeches as true
peace requires building a nation where all citizens feel they can flourish and are free to
live harmoniously.

The statement read, “We should support movements towards unity in diversity everywhere in our country as peace ambassadors. We call on the people of Nigeria and State Actors to work hard to achieve sustainable peace among the citizens in Nigeria. As conflicts continue to erupt across many parts of the country, displacing many people with its attendant tolls on the masses very negatively, we all have a role to play in fostering peace and tackling ethnic and religious intolerance. Nigeria has a lot of peace-threatening issues and this includes the flood menace which has ravaged several towns in Nigeria for several decades leaving in its wake the loss of thousands of lives, a shortage of food and billions of naira worth of properties damaged.
This situation calls for holistic and urgent action on our part as individuals and that of the government. The importance of sensitizing government at all levels on the reality of climate change and on possible risk reduction strategies is crucial in preventing flood menace in Nigeria”.

They observed the recently marked International Day of Peace, with the theme “End racism. Build Peace, is an opportunity to celebrate our diversities and rejoice on our
commonalities.

” We are using this medium to call on all Nigerians to as a matter of fact see each other as our brother’s and Sister’s Keeper, we also appeal that we treat each other equally, regardless of our religious, political, gender and regional differences. What we need now in our country is to preach peace and be an example of peace in our various communities. As faith groups, we are calling on all citizens of Nigeria to use the opportunity of this year’s World Peace Day to increase efforts in creating sustainable peace and peaceful existence. This is an important and urgent invite for preparation by various political parties as we kick start electioneering campaigns for the 2023 general elections”.

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