January 30, 2023

Edo/Ondo Elections: Diaspora Nigerian Youth Parliament Call For Peaceful And Just Elections

2 min read

The Diaspora Nigerian Youth Parliament has called for a free, fair and credible election process and collectively condemned attempts by any powerholder to engage in any electoral malpractices that may lead to violence, during or after the Edo and Ondo states gubernatorial elections.

This was made know by the Speaker Amb, Adebayo Oketooto and Registrar, Com, Olaoluwa Ogunleye of the Youth Parliament on Monday. They said that all stakeholders, from political parties to civil society, from candidates to voters, from foreign to national observers, must put individual and group interests aside and ensure peaceful and credible elections.

Excerpt is the full text of the statement:

Since the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999, free and fair elections, and peaceful transitions of power have been challenged by electoral violence and malpractices. The nation is once again going to witness another round of elections in the Southern states of Edo and Ondo States. Hence this statement, by the Diaspora Nigerian Youth Parliament DNYP.

In the context of the heated political developments, being currently witnessed in Edo State and as an International network of youth-led peacebuilding organisations with members spread all over the world, the Diaspora Nigerian Youth Parliament calls for a free, fair, and credible election process, and collectively condemn attempts by any powerholder to engage in any electoral malpractices that may lead to violence, during or after the Edo and Ondo states gubernatorial elections.

This statement becomes imperative, following series of violent attacks on political opponents, as the campaigns are on, in Edo State. We are worried, to see top political leaders, including a former governor of Edo state, instigating citizens, towards a path of lawlessness, in an election process, that should purely be civil, free and peaceful.

We also invite the youth of these states, to resist attempts to manipulate public opinion – all too frequent in electoral times – and call for violent partisanship and electoral misconduct. Instead, we encourage them to eschew violence and exercise their voting right promoting a culture of peace. Key actions should include the following:

The Federal government headed by President Muhammadu Buhari must give Nigerians and the international community free, fair, credible and peaceful elections. INEC and security agencies must be allowed to be independent in this process.

The Independent National Electoral Commission must ensure the necessary logistic and human capacities are in place to handle the process.

The Nigeria Police, the Army, the Civil Defense, and all other sister security agencies that will be deployed during and after the elections must ensure just and credible elections in accordance with the rule of law.

Last but not the least, all stakeholders, from political parties to civil society, from candidates to voters, from foreign to national observers, must put individual and group interests aside and ensure peaceful and credible elections.

The DNYP will continue to monitor the process, as key stakeholders in the Nigerian democracy, as we pledge to continue mobilising local and International efforts, towards further building our institution of democracy, to an enviable height.

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