‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja


Daily Courier – Former head of state and co-chairman, National Peace Committee (NPC) Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar has called on politicians not to stir up hate ahead of the gubernatorial election in Osun State.

Abdulsalami also said that the gubernatorial candidates and other stakeholders in Osun State will commit to free, fair and violence free election by signing a peace accord on Wednesday, 13th July 2022, in Osogbo, the state capital.

“We are aware that the contestants in the elections are running robust campaigns. These pre-election activities have at several times been characterised by vile comments, politics of blame, heated debates, and allegations of political thuggery, ” Abdulsalami said in a statement he personally signed.

He said, “Elections should and must be devoid of utterances which stir up hate and instigate violent acts, monetisation of the process but rather follow the rudiments of democracy, which is the rule of law and acknowledging the rights of every citizen.

“As such, we have continued in our engagements with the candidates and political parties, to reiterate and call on them to ensure they conduct themselves with civility and patriotism, adhering to due process and not self-help. We urge that contestants approach the elections in a true spirit of sportsmanship,” Abdulsalami said while urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and other government agencies that facilitate the conduct of the electoral process should do so with transparency as the entire nation and the world is watching.

“All contestants – irrespective of their political platform, should be treated with fairness and equity. We call on INEC and the security agencies to ensure inclusivity, facilitating an electoral exercise where the electorate are not disenfranchised because of gender, religious beliefs, ethnic affiliation, or disability. It is important that public trust in the process is continually built and reinforced through free, credible and transparent elections in the state. We particularly urge that appropriate procedures are implemented to ensure the unhealthy and seemingly pervasive practice of voter inducement, commonly called “vote-buying”. The law in all its capacity and requirements should be applied to those involved in such a criminal act, both the buyer and seller.

“Finally, we call on all other stakeholders in the traditional institutions, media, and civil society to be alert to their responsibilities as envoys of our democratic values which are the means to attaining good governance, resulting in our collective growth and development.

We believe that at the end of the contest, when the results are announced, all stakeholders will participate in the responsibility of governance, because the values and goals of democratic governance are not a zero-sum game. By such actions, Osun State will witness peace and harmony and the dividends of democracy.

“The NPC hereby wishes to announce that a peace accord will be signed by the various political parties and stakeholders on 13th July 2022, in Osogbo, Osun State,” the statement added