By Angela Atabo
Africa Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF),has tasked Nigerian politicians to uphold the sanctity and integrity of the electoral process toward a credible 2023 general election.
Dr Arome Salifu, the Executive Director AYGF said this at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
“The foundation believes that credible elections are a fundamental requirement for strong democratic governance and respect for human rights which are critical for sustainable development and lasting peace,” Salifu said.
He called on security agencies saddled with the responsibility of securing the country to intensify effort and do more to make the entire electoral process safe for voters, candidates, observers , media, and electoral officers.
He however, said that a peaceful, and credible election was not entirely the task of security agencies alone.
” INEC, political actors, and other stakeholders have a part to play; INEC must be seen as an umpire indeed and must ensure neutrality, credibility, and acceptability of the electoral process and it outcome.
“For the politicians, they ultimately desire to win the elections, they must do so within the annbiance of the law.
“The promotion political violence and the spread of disinformation and misinformation, including vote buying, hate speeches, and unguarded statements are capable of undermining the democratic process, public peace, and harmony.
“In few days to the end of the campaign ,politicians and their followers must promote their messages with a very high degree of responsibility toward ensuring that the sanctity and integrity of the electoral process is guaranteed,” Salifu said.
He urged them to eschew violence and avoid all forms of incitement incitement as tools for mobilsing and canvassing for votes.
Salifu said that Nigeria was faced with a pandemic of security threats across the six geopolitical zones, saying that credible, peaceful, and conclusive election would help to resolve the myriad of problems faced by the large population of youths and other citizens.
“Evidence has shown that a failed election could be detrimental to Nigeria and the West African countries.
“It is on this premise, we are hosting this press conference to draw the attention of critical stakeholders to the need to conduct a credible, peaceful, and conclusive general election.
“The global communities’ attention is on Nigeria as 93.4 million registered voters are expected to vote on Feb. 25 and March 11,” he said.
Salifu said that the 2023 general election was an opportunity for citizens to choose a leader with solid determination to steer the direction of the country.
He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its efforts toward deepen democratic governance through transparent elections via its reforms.
He said the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the result viewing portal have implications for promoting transparency and trust in the electoral process.
Salifu called on youths and the citizens in general to remain ready, peaceful and desist from vote selling,urging them to be resolute to participate in the polls and vote for the growth and development of Nigeria.
“It is also imperative to call on the security agencies saddled with the responsibility of securing the country to intensify effort and do more to make the entire electoral process safe for voters, candidates, observers , media, and electoral officers,” he said.(NAN)(nannews.ng)
Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa