UN harps on peaceful polls as candidates sign peace accord in Kano
Africa and the world count on Nigerian authorities for an enabling atmosphere that will entrench peaceful and transparent general elections, the United Nations (UN) has said.
The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, UN Office for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS), Ms Giovanie Biha, stated this, yesterday, in Kano at the signing of peace accord by gubernatorial candidates.
At the event organised by Kano Peace Committee, in collaboration with National Peace Committee and Kukah Centre, Biha declared that a peaceful conduct of election in Nigeria would send a clear signal to Africa.
She, however, noted that government could only attain such level of success, if adequate measures were taken to mitigate violence across major states, including Kano.
According to the UN envoy, electoral violence in Nigeria has continued to undermine inclusive electoral process, especially with regard to women’s participation and disregard for the rule of law.
She reassured the continued support of the UN to democracy in Nigeria, especially on peace and stability.
“We must encourage regular exchanges between key stakeholders to identify potential threat and find practical solution to them before the elections. We must also denounce provocative comments during campaign and election and enhance the role of traditional, religion and peace agents.
“It is our collective responsibility to the people of the country and Africa, who look at Nigeria for leadership to create enabling environment for peaceful election. UN is prepared to support the government and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for inclusive and transparent elections,” Biha noted.
Co-chairman, Kano Peace Committee, Prof. Ibrahim Umar, noted that the event was organised to promote peace before, during and after the elections. He cited growing dangerous trends of political campaign in Kano and the urgent need for concerned authorities to act immediately.
Meanwhile, the candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Ibrahim Sharada, declared that his ambition to become the next governor does not worth the life of any individual.
Sharada, who represents Kano Municipal in the House of Representatives, said he would rather preferred to lose at the poll than to record any casualty before and during of elections.
On their part, candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Muhammad Abacha; Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Salihu Tanko Yakasai; Labour Party (LP), Bashir I. Bashir and Social Democratic Party (SDP), Bala Gogoruwa pledged to exhibit decorum in their campaigns.