A civil society organisation, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) has cautioned all political candidates for the 2019 general elections against engaging in campaign of calumny to discredit one another.
According to CEPEJ, Nigerians who constitute the electorate are keenly observing the political gladiators ahead of the general elections stressing that their voting patterns would be skewed by the way aspirants sell themselves.
The group regretted that though the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has not lifted ban on campaigns, some politicians are already employing slanderous words to malign one another ahead of the polls.
CEPEJ Coordinator, Sheriff Mulade, sounded the note of advise at a media parley in Abuja on Sunday, where he said Nigerians are no longer endeared to politicians who commission boreholes just to curry favour from electorates.
He also underscored the need for peace, saying INEC must drag the major aspirants to a round table to sign a peace accord.
His words, “Political parties must make peace and unity the hallmark of their campaigns as they seek to win support of the electorates in the elections.
“They must equally eschew violence and hate speech in their campaigns, and engage in issue base discussions of how they plan to transform the country”.
He said Nigeria was strategic to global peace, hence the country cannot afford to be in crisis as a result of the upcoming 2019 general elections.
“All the aspirants must realise that they owe us a duty to tell us tangible things they hope do and enumerate how they intend to achieve these goals, gone were the days that politicians will start constructing boreholes just to get our votes, those strategies of deceit are now archaic.
“Besides peace is vital for national unity and development. If there is no peace in Nigeria, there will be nothing like credible elections”,Mulade told reporters at the parley.
The Group equally said it was high time politicians stop overheating the polity anytime election year approaches adding that they must refrain from spilling blood as the death of one Nigerian is worth more than the entire electoral process.
“Politicians should understand that those who toil with human lives will have to answer to God.
“We hereby call on the followers of the candidates of the various political parties to shun bloodshed no matter the situation.
“Nigeria must henceforth learn to cherish and protect peace and avoid the killings that have characterized the nation’s electioneering campaign period,”he said.
Mulade also insisted that the Center for Peace and Environmental Justice will monitor the 2019 electioneering campaign by the various political parties within the framework of justice and peace advocacy.