By Salisu Sani-Idris
Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD) has urged the Federal Government to ensure timely release of funds to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for 2023 general election.
The Chairman, Council of the Wise, SCDDD, retired Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, made the appeal at a news conference on the 2023 General Elections titled, the Nigeria Nigerians Want and the Leaders They Need, on Tuesday in Abuja.
The council wishes to seize this opportunity to appeal to the federal government to provide the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with all the resources it requires for the conduct of the 2023 elections, especially timely release of funds.
Mr President is kindly requested to compliment his evident determination for a successful election by also providing all the security agencies with the resources and leadership to enable them to prevent any violence before, during and after the elections.
They will also provide adequate security for the voters to cast their votes without hindrance.The Council wishes to congratulate Mr President for assenting to the Electoral Bill, which largely accommodated the electoral reforms recommended by Justice Muhammad Lawal Uwais Committee.
It is the hope of the Council that Mr President would follow up by ensuring that public institutions and officials comply with the electoral laws.
Bulkachuwa also urged INEC to ensure that all materials and personnel required for the 2023 elections were made available and deployed to the voting centres in time.
The council is fully convinced that the ability of Nigerians to once more prove the prophets of doom wrong, largely depends on the conduct of the political parties, candidates, INEC, security agencies and the electorate during the 2023 election, she said.
The former President of the Court of Appeal said that the integrity of the election largely depended on its management by INEC, which should be guided by the remarkable success so far achieved from 2015 to date.
As a neutral and independent institution, INEC must be fair and just to all political parties, candidates and electorate.
The use of electronic gadgets and other modern devices by INEC is a welcome development and must be properly managed in order to enhance the integrity of the elections and to fully reflect the choices of the people, Bulkachuwa said.
She, however, called on all political parties to abide by their constitutions, the electoral laws and guidelines issued by INEC in order to prevent violence or any act that would affect the integrity of the elections.
It is very necessary for them to discharge their responsibilities to their members and indeed the nation, without recourse to violence.
Leaderships of political parties should take steps to compel their members and officials to fully comply with the electoral laws and guidelines issued by INEC in order to develop a culture of integrity and trust, she said.
Bulkachuwa enjoined presidential, governorship, national, and state assembly candidates to canvass the support of the electorate with sincerity, dignity, maturity and mutual respect.
Their electioneering campaigns should be devoid of rancor, hate speech, inflammatory and unguarded utterances capable of instigating violence.
It is imperative that campaigns are based on issues and not personal attacks, vendetta, thuggery or violence, she said.
Bulkachuwa, who urged religious leaders to intensify in their prayers, also appealed to them to ensure that their adherents promoted religious practices and tolerance and mutual respect.
She also advised religious leader to educate their subjects to avoid hate speeches or insults in expressing their support to the candidates of their choice.
So that the devil will have no means of creating any misunderstanding or hatred between adherents of religions in Nigeria.
The council is convinced that the traditional rulers have a very crucial role to play in preventing instigators of conflicts from arising in their respective domains, the former Court of Appeal President said.
She admonished youths as the future leaders of the nation to be wiser by refusing to allow themselves to be used against the people during the election.
No youth should allow himself or herself to be used as an agent of hate speech or violence in the coming elections and beyond, Bulkachuwa added.(NAN)
Edited by Mark Longyen/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Source: NAN News