We applaud the signing of an accord by leading candidates in the elections to keep to the code of conduct already signed by all registered political parties in the country and be civil and courteous during the campaign.
The value of such an accord is however not in the signing but in keeping to the letters and words. In this regard, we are concerned about the series of reckless and inflammatory statements as well as hate speech coming from some members of the political class.
For example, on the 19th of January, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State sponsored an advert in three national dailies suggesting that if elected into office, Muhammadu Buhari of the APC might die in office.
He had photographs of three previous heads of state from the North West who died in office and a question mark on the photo of Buhari. Publishing a “death wish” for your political opponent is completely unacceptable and we condemn it.
For the second time, a high-ranking official of the All Progressive Congress (APC), this time, its National Chairman, has repeated the statement that the party will form a parallel government if the 2015 elections are rigged. It was the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Ameachi, who first made this statement.
Also in his recent statement, Asari Dokubo, stated that “election results are known and there will be war if not accepted”. It not only impugned the credibility of INEC but also gives credence to the equally reckless statement by the APC that elections are already rigged.
Such statements coming from highly placed politicians are dangerous as they are capable of mobilizing citizens and catalyzing them to taking unconstitutional actions of ‘serve yourself’ type even before the elections are conducted.
We condemn the statements as reckless and unwelcome in the context of our commitment to furthering and deepening of the rule of law.
We call on all politicians and indeed all citizens to remain law-abiding and have faith in the rule of law and due process. All politicians should address their grievances and misgivings through legally established channels.
In the same vein, we call on all government institutions and agencies to discharge their responsibilities in strict conformity with the law establishing them and to refrain from acts, either of omission or commission, which cast them as partisan. It is in this light that we condemn the persistent efforts of the DSS to disrupt the functioning of the secretariat of the APC in Lagos State.
The DSS should be mindful of its role of preventing the breakdown of law and order, which its current posturing undermines by casting it in the grab of a partisan institution. While it has responsibility to investigate and prosecute any allegations, it should not appear to be the prosecutor and the judge in the case that it is investigating. Such acts tend to enthrone impunity, which in the end breeds the sort of statements that the APC are making.
It is indeed incomprehensible that while law enforcement agency will spend hours looking through envelopes in the secretariat of the APC to fish out alleged foreigners, it has done nothing to curb the persistent inflammatory statements.
These statements are not only hateful but are made with the intent to create a climate conducive for catalyzing people to violence. We condemn the statements, and urge them to stop from further poisoning the minds of Nigerians.
- Y. Z. Ya’u, Centre for Information Technology And Development(CITAD)
- Uche Wilson Dureke, Centre for Peace across Boarders
- Dr. Hussiani Abdu, Action Aid Nigeria
- Dr. Abiola Akinyode-Afolabi, Women Advocates’ Research and Documentation Center (WARDC)
- Saudatu Mahdi, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, (WRAPA)
- Isah Garba, BACIPEM, Bauchi
- Saludeen Hashim, West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF-Nigeria)
- Anya Okeke, State of African Union (SOTU)
- Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
- Ezenwa Nwagwu, Partners on Electoral Reform
- Jaye Gaskiya, Protest to power movement
- Idayat Hassan, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)
- Lukman Adekunle, Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC)
- Dr.Godwin Ojo , Environmental Rights Action (ERA)
- Gen. Ishola Williams, Pan-African Strategic and Policy Research Centre (PANAFSTRAC)
- ZIK Ibrahim, Resource Centre For Human Rights& Civil Education (CHRICED)
- Bilkisu Yusuf, Advocacy Nigeria
- ZIK Ibrahim, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG)
- John Odah, Abuja Collectives, Abuja
- Ezenwa Nwagwu, Say No Campaign
- Emma Ezeazu, Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE)
- Chido Onumah, African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
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