The Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD) being Coordinated by Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, has called on Governor Ibikunle Amosun and other stakeholders to “give peace a chance” before, during and after the March 9 governorship election in Ogun state.
SCDDD’s Council of The Wise which were in the state for interactions with Amosun and other stakeholders ahead of the Saturday Gubernatorial election, also advised the Governor, opposition political parties and candidates standing for elections to “play (the game) by the rules.”
The group noted that Ogun State was one of the states including Kaduna and Imo State considered peculiar state in respect of the gubernatorial election hence their coming to appeal for violence – free poll on Saturday.
Reading SCDDD’s paper for the media and signed by the body’s Executive Director, Amb. Abdullahi Omaki, on behalf of the team which included ex – NTA broadcaster, Eugenia Abu after the group’s separate interactions with stakeholders in the state, Prof. Oshita Oshita advised voters to be vigilant and ensure that their votes count.
Oshita also called on the security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be impartial, transparent and patriotic in their conducts regarding the governorship and state House of Assembly elections while the government is advised to insulate the political and electoral processes from undue militarization.
He said: “The council members’ interactive visit to Ogun state in tandem with this philosophy is to meet with critical stakeholders namely, the Governor and ruling party in the state, the opposition parties and some candidates for elections.
“The Council of the Wise specifically admonished all the political parties met and other stake holding bodies and candidates to be mindful of not over – heating the polity through the use of hate and inciting speech as well discourage the spread of fake news capable of causing disaffection and violence.
“Our appeal is to politicians, both in government and the opposition, trading (one) accusation or the other against each other.
“The fact remains, however, that the political space is filled with too much hate and inciteful speeches and conducts as well as fake or false dissemination of information all capable of inducing violence prior to, during and after elections, hence the understandable and timely appeals by Savannah Centre’s Council to all, to give peace a chance and play by the rules.”