October 7, 2022

1 The Rufus Ebegba Centre for Leadership and Environmental Sustainability (REC) has called on the general public and political candidates contesting in the 2023 general elections to ensure a peaceful, free and fair election.
2 The founder of REC, Dr Rufus Ebegba said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.
3 Ebegba said there is need for the candidates and the electorates to ensure that the electoral process is peaceful and violence free to ensure a proper democratic transition.
4 “Civic space, public participation, fundamental freedoms and a violence-free environment are critical to foster inclusive engagement in the electoral process and the exercise of political rights.
5 ”The use of abusive language and disrespect for opponents’ views should be avoided,” he said.
6 Ebegba said it is important for Nigerians to reject violence and political tension during the campaign.
7 He added that hate speech by candidates and their supporters, have a dangerous potential to ignite flames of violence.
8 Ebegba urged all parties to uphold the rights to political participation, freedoms of assembly, opinion and expression, and to respect the role of an independent electoral body.
9 ”All those involved in the electoral process must commit themselves to peaceful conduct prior, during and after elections.
10 “Candidates and political parties must refrain from using inflammatory languages which may lead to violence and human rights abuses.
11 “Successful elections are key to mitigating the security challenges and other economic malaise bedeviling the country,” he said.
12 The founder urged all leaders and candidates to make it clear to their supporters that violence has no place in democratic elections.
13 ”They should not incite, support or engage in any kind of violence before, during, or after the votes are counted,” Ebegba said.
14 He called on Nigerians to peacefully express their views and to reject the voices of those calling for violence.
15 Ebegba assured that when elections are free and fair, it is the responsibility of all citizens to help keep the peace, no matter who wins.
16 NewsSourceCredit: NAN

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