By Grace Isaac, Osogbo
A faith-based Non- Governmental Organization, Justices Development and Peace Maker Center (JDPMC) has called on Nigerians and those fighting over ethnicity to shun violence and embrace peace for the overall development and progress of the country.
The General Coordinator of JDPMC, Rev Fr. Peter Akinkunmi made the call on Tuesday while speaking in an interview on the post-election review with relevant stakeholders on the just concluded 2023 general elections.
Akinkunmi who was represented by the program manager, Mr Festus Ojewumi said adopting peaceful ways of settling issues would make youths desist from atrocities that could be inimical to their development.
He urged the youth to desist from hate speech and any utterance that can trigger violence calling on those that lost the election to sit back and come out with actions and a work plan that will actually help the country.
Speaking about the post-election review he said ” As the election has concluded in many states in Nigeria so we want to review with different stakeholders on how everything had gone, get good recommendations so that we can share to different management such as INEC, EU, security personnel among others.
“It is good that we review so that we will know what worked well and what didn’t work well.
We observed during the last elections that the turnout of the electorate was not encouraging. Though there was a pocket of violence during the presidential and state house of assembly elections, we thank God the election was credible and peaceful.
“There was a lot of vote buying. some people used code, some did transfer and some paid in cash. We must all rise against vote buying because it won’t help us.
“Election has ended, we don’t want post-election violence everybody should go back to their normal activities.
“We don’t want any utterance that can lead to violence. We urge Nigerians to desist from hate speech that can actually trigger the process. Let those who have lost accept their defeat and go back to the drawing board, sit back and come out with actions and work plans that will actually help our country.
He commended INEC’s performance in terms of planning and management of elections and the security architecture at the polling units’ level in Osun State.
Also speaking, the Osun State Commissioner of Police, Patrick Longe who was represented by D.C Dyke said the command has arrested those who engaged in snatching of ballot papers and violence during the election adding that they are currently in court now.
While giving his view on the election he said the pre-election violence in Osun mostly Ilesha and others put fear in his heart but noted that the command was able to track those political thugs and violators of peace through the information gotten from an informant (the Public) in the state.
He stressed that their personnel were deployed to those places merged with pre-election violence and apprehended thugs before the election, saying ” though there was still violence during the election it was not that much saying there is no election that is without violence.
He challenged political leaders in the country to show people, particularly the youth, clear examples of good leadership enjoining them to desist from sponsoring political thugs.
Also speaking, a member of JDPMC from Oyo State, Mr Dominic said the election was peaceful compared to what was having in the country in the past.
“This election is an improvement of the 1999 election. The BIVAS worked perfectly well in Oyo State. We had more youth coming out to perform their civic responsibility, The INEC officials in Oyo were responsive to their calling and the calling of many others in the society.
“Oyo State is a dynamic state when it comes to election, they can shift from a particular party today and another tomorrow instead of having violence like we use to have before we have people rejoicing”
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