The International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS) West Africa Chapter has called upon Nigerians especially politicians to remember that public offices are mere avenues to serve and so, there should not be desperation to attain them.
Chairman of the Chapter, AVM Muhammed Audu-Bida who stated this at the meeting of the Chapter in Abuja expressed delight at the recent signing of “Abuja 2015 Election Accord by all the 14 Presidential candidates in the February 14 presidential election in Nigeria.”
The Chairman expressed TIEMS West Africa Chapter’s delight in “hearing the gladiators speaking glowingly about the need for peaceful elections and promising to pass the message and their commitment to their followers and supporters in the grassroots.
“TIEMS West Africa especially commend the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) for bringing these statesmen together even in the midst of their tight campaign schedule.
“Before this time, the Society has noted with alarm, the hate speeches being seriously bandied by some of the political parties against each other and the threats of violence by many of their followers especially on the social media. It is pertinent to reiterate that election into public offices is about public service, which should not be a desperate undertaking. Everyone standing election must therefore, be prepared to take the verdict as prescribed by the electorate through the ballot boxes”, the statement added.
Audu-Bida reiterated the main kernel of the agreement signed by all the presidential candidates in the February 14 election to include “committing to running issue based campaigns at national, state and local government levels by refraining from campaigns that will involve religious incitement, ethnic or tribal profiling; Refraining from making or causing to make any public statements, pronouncements, declarations or speeches that have the capacity to incite any form of violence before, during and after the election and;
“Forcefully and publicly speaking out against provocative utterances and oppose all acts of electoral violence whether perpetrated by supporters and or opponents.”
The former Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the Society has in addition, called upon the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and all the security agencies to act in the national interest be being diligent, responsible and impartial in the process leading to, during and after the elections.
“It is especially important for the gladiators and leaders of political parties sponsoring them to ensure that the message of peace and orderly conduct is passed to grassroots supporters throughout the nook and cranny of the country”, the retired Air Force officer added.
He further observed that “Nigeria is presently battling with serious issues of insecurity and mindless violence in most parts of the country in the forms of terrorism, armed robbery, kidnapping, ritual killing and so on with the reality of unnecessary loss of lives in thousands and can ill afford to add election violence to this orgy.
“The media, in their traditional role of advocacy and agenda setting have the responsibility of emphasising this all important need for all Nigerians to be mindful of the need to pursue peace by every means during this period.”
January 15, 2015
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