Elections not a do or die affair – AU devt agency tells Nigerians
The African Union Development Agency/New Partnership for African Development (AUDA-NEPAD) has urged Nigerians to eschew bitterness and ensure that the forthcoming elections are free from violence.
The organisation gave the advice at a road walk organised to sensitise Nigerians on the need for a violence free election, on Thursday in Abuja.
Mr Abdulkaheem Akande, Director, Planning, Research and Innovation, AUDA-NEPAD, said the sensitisation was geared towards ensuring a peaceful election, devoid of crisis and violence.
Akande, who is also the focal person of the nationwide violence free election campaign, said that most of the African countries were looking up to Nigeria to get it right in this election.
“The essence of this sensitisation campaign is to give out early warning to avert a lot of conflicts and crisis that comes with electioneering in Africa, particularly in Nigeria.
“Most importantly, the AU and EU are looking up to Nigeria to get it right because if we get it right, other Africa member states will get it right too.
“We are trying to curb all the malpractices in elections, such as vote-buying, snatching of ballot boxes, crisis and bitterness.
“We want Nigerians to know that they do not have to die during elections and they do not have to take it as a do or die affair, one government will come and another will go,” he said.
He also advised Nigerians to choose right, vote rightly for their preferred candidates and resist the temptation of selling their votes.
He also called on successful candidates in the elections to extend a hand of fellowship to their opponents by carrying them along in their administration.
Also speaking, Mrs Juwaretu Olumoko, a facilitator in the campaign said the campaign, which is being carried out in different states, is aimed at discouraging acts of violence during the elections.
“Do not sell your votes because if you do that, you have sold your future and the future of your children.
“We also want Nigerians to shun violence before, during and after the elections as it would have a great impact on the development of this country,” she said.
Also speaking, Ms Samira Zakari, a Corp member, also called on youths to shun politicians who may want to use them as thugs during the elections.
“Do not fall into the temptation of being used as political thugs, as it does not worth it when you lose your life because of elections,” she said.