African Union devt agency calls for violence-free elections
By Ruth Oketunde
The African Union Development Agency and New Partnership for African Development (AUDA- NEPAD) have advised Nigerians against acts of violence before, during and after the general elections.
Princess Gloria Akobundu, the National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, AUDA-NEPAD/APRM Nigeria, gave the warning at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
She said that judging from the tension-induced elements that have pervaded the environment prior to the election, it was important for Nigerians to say no to political thuggery and violence.
“Electoral violence has been a re-occuring problem and threat to achieving democracy and good governance in Nigeria and Africa at large.
“This challenge is inimical to democracy and efforts must be made to combat it.
“African Union has currently expressed serious concern in elections and political transitions which often poses serious threats to the unity and stability of member states and Nigeria inclusive,” she said.
Akobundu further said that the objective of its sensitisation programme tagged “Silencing the Gun”, was to create awareness on management of democracy and the need to build positive mindset in electoral processes.
According to her, voters education, civic rights, new voting technologies, prevention of electoral crisis, pre and post electoral crisis management have been its focus.
She said that the campaign which started in Bauchi, Lagos and Abuja was in line with the early warning mechanisms and measures to ensure a free, fair and credible elections devoid of violence and related casualties.
“As an agency, our overall objective on violence-free election is sensitisation through workshops, press briefings and advocacy.
“We want to ensure that every nook and cranny is sensitised on the dangers of electoral violence and its impacts,” she added.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chinyere Bassey/Sadiya Hamza