General Elections: JNI Insist Presidential Candidates Must Respect Abuja Peace Accord

by Ibrahim  Mohammad,  Kaduna

jniJama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI) today call on  both Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Goodluck Jonathan and All Progressive Congress (APC) General Muhammad Buhari  to respect Abuja Peace Accord during the elections.

According to the group, Free, fair elections and conceding defeat by all candidates is the antidote to violence during elections.

JNI Secretary General, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu made the appealed at a press conference in kaduna.

The group further call on the duo to guard against utterances that may trigger violence during  the general elections.

JNI also tasked governorship candidates in all the political parties to also guide their utterances so as to avoid over hitting the country.

JNI call on INEC  to do whatever it takes to avoid actions that portend or precipitate violence.

The secretary General said presently  there are issues and incidents that generated excitements, concerns and even anxieties.

“JNI feels obliged to comment at the present time with a view to calling on not only Muslims but the entire citizens of our great country to demonstrate real and genuine sense of patriotism.

“Responsibility, tolerance and commitment to peace and stability in Nigeria, before, during and after the forthcoming elections.

“As an important stakeholder in the elections, in the governance of the country and indeed because of its firm commitment  to the country’s unity, stability and progress.

“JNI believes that this call on the citizens for peace  is essentially and genuinely both a religious and civic obligation.

“It has always been the case that not only in Nigeria but in all democratic societies in the world seasons of general elections are usually fraught with anxieties, uncertainties and even tensions.

“It is apparent that the elections in the next two weeks are the most keenly contested in the history of our country.

“While all these situations keep growing by each day that comes to pass, the political atmosphere increasingly gets charged.

“With clashes between rival political supporters and thugs occurring at one place or the other, a state of fear of drifting to wide-spread violence as witnessed in 2011 is already setting in.

“For instance, Bishop Oyedepo of Winners Chapel at Ota, was reported to have made a lot of inciting hate speech recently, Tompolo and Asari Dokubo are not left out, this is just to mention but a few.

“In view of this rather worrisome situation, all stakeholders both locally and internationally have been preoccupied with the search for ways of mitigating violence before, during and after the elections.

“JNI, therefore, finds it necessary to discharge what it believes is an obligation upon itself; that is, to call on all Nigerians to shun violence in any way, in any form and at all phases of the elections and its aftermath.

“JNI wishes to specially call on the prime actors – the INEC, the presidential candidates and contestants at all levels,

“as well as the political party leaders and officials, to do whatever it takes to avoid utterances and actions that portend or precipitate violence.

“JNI hereby asserts that the most significant antidotes to violence are two:  free, fair and credible elections on one hand, and  faithful acceptance of the outcome of elections by all.

“In any election, there must be winners and losers, and we would only get it right when the elections are obviously and manifestly seen to be transparent and credible in conduct, and consequently the losers accept defeat in good faith.

“JNI wishes to make this clarion call to the principal contenders in the presidential and gubernatorial races to, as a matter of faith, personal reputation, and statesmanship respect the Abuja Peace Accord and guard against all actions and utterances that may trigger violence.

“JNI calls on the INEC to keep to its duty with faith and sincerity to God and to the country by demonstrating real commitment to free, fair and credible elections.

“It is our firm belief that doing everything possible to forestall violence and save lives and property in the forthcoming elections is our collective obligation that we all have to discharge and we must, therefore, all stand up to do it faithfully and devoutly.

“JNI prays to ALLAH, the Almighty God, to grace our great country with violence-free elections and bless us with God-fearing and responsible leaders at all levels of governance that will lift the nation to higher levels of prosperity and faster paces of development. May Allah bless us all, Amin,” he said.