by Ibrahim Mohammad, Kaduna
United States of America today charged Federal Government to ensure a free, transparent, credible, inclusive and non-violent electoral process in the country.
The American Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador James F. Entwistle made the disclosure at the opening of one week training for Nigerian journalists ahead of the February polls at Asa Pyramid Hotel in Kaduna.
He said was no doubt 2015 general elections present Nigerians with a golden opportunity to demonstrate their lasting commitment to democratic values and institutions.
He warned political leaders and politicians generally to refrain from making inflammatory statements capable of causing crisis.
“just 33 days from today, the 2015 general elections will begin. These elections present a golden opportunity for Nigeria to demonstrate its lasting commitment to democratic values and institutions.
“The United States strongly supports a free, transparent, credible, inclusive and non-violent electoral process.
” We therefore continue to call upon all Nigerians to refrain from advocating, formenting, or condoning violence before, during, or after the elections.
“We urge political parties and the government to ensure that all registered voters are able to participate freely in peaceful and transparent process.
” In order to create an environment where that can happen, Nigeria’s political leadership and all those who aspire to lead must refrain from engaging in inflammatory rhetoric or supporting acts of intimidation.
“Let me reiterate that, the United States stands with Nigeria as you continue on the democratic path.
“We do so as your friend and partner. You have many friends and partners who want Nigeria to succeed, and the United States stands at the front of that line,” he said.
The Ambassador charged Nigerian media educate politicians to address and help the electorate to hold the elected officials accountable.
The workshop was themed; “Community Reporting for Building of Democratic Values in the Run-up to 2015 General Election”.
National President of NUJ, Mohammed Garba said, the 2015 election is important to every Nigerian Journalist.
According to him,journalists, needs to be conscious of their professional responsibility to gather, collate, process and disseminate news.
“Through this role we are seen as gatekeepers who determine which news material to disseminate especially against the background of the myriads of available materials. We mirror for the society to view itself while also influencing social realities,” he said