By Ochiaka Ugwu
Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) has asked politicians to embrace issue based campaign in the 2019 general election for a peaceful nation.
In a statement released at the weekend by the Institute and signed by Mr. Abu I. Michael on behalf of the Acting Director General. it notedthat 2019 general elections are fast approaching going by the timetable of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the country’s elections umpire.
According to the statement, “The presidential and national assembly elections are expected to hold on 16th February 2019 after due publications of notices of the polls by January 2 and the final/official register of voters on January 7 of 2019.
“It scheduled the gubernatorial and state houses of assembly/Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Council elections for March 2, 2019”.
It stated that it will be in the best interest of every single Nigerian that all electoral processes before, during and after the elections are free, fair, credible and peaceful.
It said that peace is nonnegotiable and a sine qua non for the successes of the elections for a smooth transition which makes important that the candidates and supporters of all the political parties and the electorates keep at the back of their minds the need for peace.
“It was high time that our politicians exhibit high sense of forbearance and love for the country by avoiding the use of hate speech/statement, unguarded utterances, mudslinging and actions that may be counterproductive as they canvass supports in the electioneering campaigns.
“It is incumbent on all the politicians particularly; the flag bearers of the various political parties to educate their supporters on the significance of peace and also ensure that they are peaceful in all their conducts during the campaign period.
“The youths should appreciate the fact that the future of the country belongs to them. They must not allow themselves to be used by selfish politicians as thugs and agents of destruction so as not to destroy the country that is theirs”.
While commending the media for their role in sustaining democracy, it urged them to report responsibly and remain impartial by ensuring very balanced reports on all candidates and events of the elections.