Elections Shift: Oke Appeals To Nigerians To Remain Calm
FOUNDER and General Overseer of The Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Bishop Francis Wale Oke has called on politicians and Nigerians in general to eschew violence and avoid acts capable of creating tension and crisis in the course and aftermath of the coming elections in the country. He made this appeal recently at the 50th birthday of the Presiding Bishop, Illumination Assembly, Bishop Isaac Idahosa in Lagos.
Speaking to The Guardian at the event, Oke, who urged Nigerians to remain calm in the face of the postponement of the elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), stated that they have their reasons for shifting it, as it is in their power to do that. He, however, called on politicians not to use anybody to foment trouble, but to appeal to him or her not to create crisis in the land as a result of any issue emanating from the process. He also urged them to encourage the people to go and collect their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC).
Said he: “The INEC is the body that is constitutionally empowered to fix and change the date of election and they have considered all terms before they took that decision. My appeal is for every Nigerian to be calm and cool, no crisis, no violence, and no trouble. The new date will soon be here. Everyone should go and collect their permanent voter’s card because that is your power. Don’t fight, don’t create trouble or cause riot, just remain calm and be determined to exercise your voting rights. When it is March 28, go and vote and choose the person you think will best govern this country. When it is April 11, go and vote for whoever you think will best govern your state. No violence at all before, during and after the election. Let’s behave like responsible citizens of Nigeria, who love this nation.
“Politicians should not use other people’s children to cause riot. If you cannot send your own children to the streets to start riots, then don’t send anybody to the street, don’t send any Almajiris to the street, and don’t send any area boy to the street. Appeal to everybody to be calm and when it is time, let everybody exercise his/her franchise and choose whosoever is best.”
He called on the electoral body and security agencies to ensure that the reasons, which they gave for the postponement of the polls is resolved within the time frame they indicated. stating that it might be disastrous if they renege on it.