NLC Hails Kerry’s Call For Violence-Free Elections

nlc_president_omarThe Nigerian Labour Congress on Tuesday in Abuja lauded the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s call for a peaceful and non-violence election in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Kerry had on Sunday, met with President Goodluck Jonathan and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), the leading candidates in the Feb. 14 presidential election.

Kerry had urged them to ensure a violence-free election before, during and after the February polls.

Mr Benson Upah, the NLC Head of Media, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the visit at this campaign time was a welcome development.

Upah described the advice from the US as laudable.

“It is a strong signal to those who care to know that the US is watching Nigeria and that the entire world is also watching us.

“The advice is also suggestive of the fact that everyone has a duty to behave well. Nigerians and the international community will hold anyone who causes trouble accountable”.

Upah said that the international community expected Nigeria, being the giant of Africa, to ensure that the processes leading to the conduct of the elections were transparent and credible.

According to him, the move by the US to deny perpetrators of violence visa is a right step in the right direction.

“Often times, when this violence is out of control, the big boys move to safer places like the US.

So, what Kerry is saying is clear; that you cannot create avoidable problems and take refuge in his country.

“Anyone, who goes out of his way to indulge in violence, sponsor it or does anything to aid it, is committing a crime against the society and the person should be sanctioned.

“Electoral violence has become a regular feature in the Nigerian elections and this is not good for the development of democracy”.

Upah noted that violence was capable of denting the image of the country as well as undermining its roles internationally.