Nigerians have been warned against violence in the forthcoming general elections as no other nation in the sub-region could possibly accommodate the nation’s refugees.
This is the observation of two global bodies, the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and have therefore cautioned Nigerians of the consequences should there be outbreak of violence.
The warning was issued in Jos, Plateau State Capital, by the two bodies during a mediation training and interactive engagement with the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and other stakeholders. The
stakeholders were drawn from the North-Central and the North-East, on non-violence 2023 elections.
Several offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were attacked and burnt across the country. The recent was the attack on INEC office in Enugu State on Sunday, where on policeman was killed by hoodlums,
SaharaReporters had reported.
Speaking at the session with IPAC, the United Nations Office for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS), represented by Sa’adatu Sha’abu, cautioned that should anything go wrong, the unimaginable consequences would be grave, and therefore, everybody should play by the rules.
“If things go wrong in Nigeria, there’ll be negative consequences for the peace and stability of the entire region.” Sa’adatu added.
The ECOWAS Programme Officer, Mediation, Brown Odigie advised all stakeholders on the peaceful conduct of the 2023 elections.
Odigie, represented by the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Abel Fatau, appealed to candidates and their parties to uphold the signed peace accord and the electoral guidelines.
“This is a mediation often done in countries across the ECOWAS region. We’re doing it for Nigeria because it’s a strategic member of ECOWAS.
“Nigeria has a huge population. The election can generate conflict if not effectively managed. And when violence occurs, with the enormous population of Nigeria, it can split to other neighbouring countries. I can assure you that no member within the zone of ECOWAS has the capacity to accommodate refugees from Nigeria.”
Responding, IPAC National Secretary, Yusuf Dantalle, lamented that election violence stems from desperate politicians because of huge election spending