As Nigerians go to the polls for the gubernatorial and state assembly elections on March 18, the National Peace Committee (NPC) has called for peace.
General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd), the committee’s chairman, issued the plea in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
He claimed that explicit threats of violence and intimidation by certain groups inside society, who use racial and religious designations to further their aims of voting suppression, made the appeal necessary.
According to Abubakar, the NPC is making the same argument it did before the February 25 presidential election.
The committee, he said, recognized and acknowledged that these are challenging times for the nation and its people.
“Presidential elections have come and gone. However, problems have arisen from the process of the collation, transmission and release of the final results.
“This has generated the crisis that we now find ourselves.
“Notwithstanding all this, we are pleased and encouraged by the matured attitudes of the candidates who contested the presidential elections.
“We are encouraged by the restraint they have exhibited and their commitment to seek justice through due process.
“This is in keeping with the spirit of the Peace Accord.
“We therefore appeal to the supporters of all the parties and our citizens to please follow the good example of their leaders and remain law abiding till the process is brought to an end.
“This weekend, on March18, 2023, the second round of elections for the governorship and state assemblies will be conducted.
“We are worried by the open threats of intimidation and violence by certain elements within the society who are using ethnic and religious labels to achieve their intentions of voter suppression.
“We appeal to the security and law enforcement agencies to remain alert and to bring to book, anyone, no matter their position in society, who poses a threat to the peaceful conduct of the elections.
“We encourage all citizens not to be intimidated and to go out and exercise their God given rights.”
Abubakar prayed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would do everything possible to ensure that the elections are peaceful so as to gain the confidence of citizens.