Ibn-Chambas, Abdulsalami caution politicians against violence ahead of polls
• Kano guber candidates sign peace accord
Special Representative of the Secretary General to United Nations (UN) for West Africa and The Sahel, Dr. Mohammad Ibn-Chambas and former Nigerian Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, have cautioned politicians against violence during the general elections.
They also harped on the need to eschew all forms of acrimony in the country before, during and after the polls.Speaking yesterday at the signing of peace accord by gubernatorial candidates in Kano State, they stressed the rising political tension in Kano and the need for credible exercise.
While Ibn-Chambas expressed concern over low participation of youths and women in Nigerian politics in spite of their large number, Abdulsalami insisted that in the absence of peace, there would be no Nigeria.The UN representative noted that Nigeria occupies strategic position on the Africa continent, and that other countries rely on her to lead by example, adding that the country and some states like Kano could not afford to fail in conducting credible and peaceful elections.
Ibn-Chambas, who called for fair- play and equal opportunities for all parties in the election at the state and federal levels, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to discharge their responsibilities without prejudice.He assured of UN’s commitment to monitor the elections and urged all political parties to run issue-based campaigns and respect the human dignity.
However, Abdulsalami challenged youths who are supporting various politicians to consider their future before accepting to be used as political thugs. While commending the Kano Election Peace Accord Committee, he urged the 20 Kano gubernatorial candidates to abide by the spirit and dictates of the peace accord they endorsed.
Speaking, Co-Chairman of the Committee and Catholic Bishop of Kano, Bishop John C. said, the Committee’s objectives include, signing an accord by candidates with a view to ensuring peace and tranquility before, during and after the elections. He cautioned media outfits to avoid broadcasting or publishing hate speeches by politicians capable of causing violence in the state.
Meanwhile, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has promised to run a violent-free campaign, saying as chief security officer of the state, he would sustain his role in maintaining peace and security regardless of his political leanings and interests.