Vote peacefully, don’t fight – SAP tells Nigerians
As Nigerians exercise their franchise by voting, they have been advised to shun violence of all forms because Almighty Allah intended peace for His creatures not violence.
“All well-meaning people from within and outside Nigeria has called for a peaceful election. Violence is an ill wind that blows no one no good.”
In a release signed by Hajia Sherifah Yusuf-Ajibade, the Coordinator, Al-Mu’minaat Social Advocacy Project (SAP), the group agreed with this position of peaceful poll because as a women-focused NGO, it is of great concern.
“Women and their children suffer the most when violence occurs. Their husbands are killed making them become widows untimely. Their children are killed and they live the rest of their lives in perpetual sorrow.”
SAP called on fellow country men and women at this critical time in our history, to disregard calls by individuals, groups and even international collaborators to incite violence. “Nigerians will be killed, maimed and left to suffer all the pains and backwardness that comes with such acts. Several nations across the globe are very available to study how they got to war. International collaborators as well as country men and women who have homes outside the countries perpetuate evils and leave for their homes and second homes as the case may be. Some will take sides with the incumbent others with the opposition. Fighting and destruction will claim lives and make us refugees. Everyday Nigerians have nowhere else to call home. We must maintain peace.”
“Political gladiators and candidates must live by the peace accord they have appended their signatures. Elections isn’t war, and should not result in war. Candidates and their parties must ensure that the elections hold peacefully, credibly, and transparently. Party loyalists and general voting public need to be safe and secure even during voting, after voting and all through the electoral process.”
According to SAP, the security agencies have a very germain role to play in maintaining and enforcing peaceful environment. “This will be almost impossible if they get partisan and biased, playing the tune according to their paymasters who may be in the incumbent or in the opposition. Elections is not a ‘do-or-die’ affair. The electoral umpire, INEC, has been unbiased so far, the postponement not withstanding.
“They must remain so and be seen to be fair to all parties. Any inkling towards favouritism may result in violence. INEC must ensure that their personnel are seen to be fair and unbiased.”
The group also urged all Nigerians to live in an atmosphere of love and brotherhood during the elections and afterwards. “SAP hereby calls on all women who have their permanent voter’s card (PVC) to come out on elections days to vote the candidates of their choice, go home and await the results from INEC.”
“Electoral tribunals will be available to hear all electoral complaints and address same using the instruments of the law. Justice will be served.”