Allow peaceful rerun election in Kano, other states – CITAD

By Abdallah el-Kurebe, Editor

#TrackNigeria: The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has called on political parties, religious and opinion leaders to help in ensuring that peace reigned during the scheduled rerun elections in Kano and other states.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Coordinator, Curbing Hate and Dangerous Speech Project of CITAD, Hamza Ibrahim and made available to Newsdiaryonline Thursday.

The statement in full:

Since the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to re-conduct election in certain polling units in some local governments in Kano and other states became public knowledge, the political atmosphere in especially Kano took a dimension of threat to peace with some politicians from particularly the parties of the two leading contenders, i.e All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) making inciting comments.

And as 23rd of March, 2019 (the date for the rerun) approaches, the situation keeps deteriorating; remarks from certain stakeholders in the two parties are testimony to that.

As an organization that works in the area of peace-building, the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) is greatly concerned with this bad development.

Very disturbing in this respect is the viral 58 seconds video clip of Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Abdullahi Abbas addressing youth in a clear inciting and dangerous manner on the coming election.

The remarks constitute serious danger to the election and period beyond as they licensed the listening youth to beat up anybody they so wish because soldiers and police will do nothing to them.  

The second danger is the reiteration of Hon. Abbas’s earlier statement that the election will be won by them either in chaos or conflict. We regrettably condemn these remarks.

These remarks are highly disturbing amidst a fragile situation of election cancellation and plan for rerun by the national electoral body.

Elections come and go, therefore, no citizen or body no matter how highly placed should be allowed to jeopardize it’s conduct if our democracy is to be safeguarded and strengthened.

In particular, no election should cost the life anyone in the state. It against this background that CITAD recommends the following:

1.      Youth must understand the hope society places in them and resist any provocation to cause chaos before, during and after the rerun election.
2.      We call on elders of Kano to take the matter with seriousness it deserves and immediately take necessary actions to ensure the planned election takes place peacefully and violence does not occur before, during and after the election.
3.      We urge traditional and religious leaders, business community, academic community, etc to greatly help in making the election peaceful.
4.      The Kano Election Peace Committee should continue to engage political actors and relevant stakeholders across the state to ensure peace reigns in the state.
5.      Politicians, their supporters/followers and youth should be orderly and avoid hate speech or spreading fake news either online or offline.
6.      We urge security agents to be professional and neutral in the discharge of their duties.
7.      Media and members civil society groups should support and strengthen awareness creation on peaceful conduct of the election.
8.      We urge professionals from different disciplines and all members of the society to also support the peaceful conduct of the rerun.

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