Chairman, National Peace Committee (NPC), Abdulsalami Abubakar, has called for calm as 28 States go to the polls to elect their governors and legislators on Saturday.
The Committee via the former Head of State in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, expressed worry over what it described as “open threats of intimidation and violence by certain elements within the society.”
According to him, the call was necessitated since certain elements within the society are using ethnic and religious labels to achieve their intentions of voters’ suppression.
Abdusalami said the NPC had been following up with the same appeal that it made ahead of the presidential and National Assembly elections, February 25.
He said, “The presidential and National Assembly 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 in. Notwithstanding all these, we are pleased and encouraged by the mature attitudes of the candidates who contested the presidential election.
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“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 March 18, 2023, the second round of elections for the governorship and state Houses of Assembly will be conducted. We are worried by the open threats of intimidation and violence by certain elements within society who are using ethnic and religious labels to achieve their intentions of voters’ 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, on behalf of the National Peace Committee, expressed gratitude to peace-loving Nigerians, including the security agencies.
However, he prayed that the Independent National Electoral Commission would do everything possible to ensure that the elections would be peaceful so as to gain the confidence of citizens.