Aliyu cautions politicians against violence, IFES, EU partner on peaceful polls
• Group seeks justice over dead party supporter
NIGER State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has described as worrisome the increasing cases of violence in some part of the country, warning that if this continues, it may disrupt the peaceful conduct of the general elections.
Also, the International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) and the European Union (EU) are partnering in efforts aimed at checking outbreak of violence before, during and after the elections.
Governor Aliyu’s warning is coming barely 48 hours after some political thugs attacked and burnt two campaign vehicles of President Goodluck Jonathan in Suleja local council of the state.
Aliyu, who spoke in Kagara, in Rafi local council on Tuesday when he paid a visit to the Emir of Kagara, Alhaji Garba Attahiru during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial campaign tour of the area insisted that the current political tension ahead of the February election might led to the disruption of the election.
He, therefore, called on political parties and their leaders to call their supporters to order, stressing that the country cannot afford to witness another political violence.
He maintained that as a people we would still have to live together after the elections no matter what happened.
“After the election, we will all have to live together, so we should not do things that will further divide the country. I plead with political leaders to call their supporters to order.”
In his welcome address at the Mitigation of Violence in Election (MOVE) programme held in Abuja, IFES Nigeria Country Director, Shalva Kipshidze said that the project will strengthen existing conflict mitigation and mediation platforms, support targeted interventions in areas identified as hotspots and raise public awareness about the dangers of electoral violence.
The President, Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa also appealed for peaceful polls.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega said all stakeholders must do their best in ensuring free, fair and credible elections in the country.
Meanwhile, a rights group, Activists for Good Governance (AGG), has also decried the spate of electoral violence in the country and noted that the development was heating up the polity.
The group also demanded an independent investigation, as well as justice to the unfair killing of an APC supporter, Mr. Eyitayo Peters in the Agege area of Lagos State, who died during a fracas between APC and PDP supporters on 22nd January, 2015.
Speaking recently at a press conference in Lagos, the convener of the group, Mr. Declan Ihekaire advised that Nigerians must learn to admit that elections will come and go, but that this country will remain, therefore, “we must play politics with every sense of responsibility, ensuring that everybody is accorded due respect, without further lost of lives and property.