NEPAD plans campaigns on violence-free elections

NEPAD plans campaigns on violence-free elections

Sunday, December 9, 2018 1:22 pm

INEC Election Ballot Box

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) has expressed willingness to implement its National Action Plan (NAP) by carrying out sensitisation rallies on violence-free elections across the country.

The National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD, Mrs Gloria Akobundu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

She explained that the aim of the sensitisation was to ensure violence-free general elections, free from vote- buying, ballot box snatching, hate speech and fake news.

She revealed that the rallies would hold in Yola (North East) on Dec.11, in Kano (North West) on Dec. 13 and in Nasarawa State (North Central) on Dec. 17.

Akobundu said that the mandate of NEPAD cut across both public and private sectors to enhance efficiency of government and good governance in the polity.

“We, Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and other partners launched the NAP on Violence-Free Election in Nigeria on June 5 and 6, in line with the African Union Agenda 2020 on silencing the guns.

“We have done the first summit which produced a communique that was adopted by the partners and collaborators; we went ahead to implement the second stage which is the National Programme of Action.

“We are set for our zonal sensitisation rally, as part of the NAP by going to the six geo-political zones and we have drawn our timetable so that all our stakeholders would follow us up.

“We shall go to the grassroots and speak in various Nigerians languages to drive home our messages against electoral violence.

“After the rallies in the north, we would plan before proceeding to the South West in Lagos, South-South, Port Harcourt and South East, Imo.

“The dates (of the rallies) will be released soon.

“However, we are going out to the communities with clergymen, CSOs, Community leaders and the media to propagate our messages on electoral violence, drug abuse and peaceful conduct during elections.

“Nigerians should learn to rejoice with any political party that wins election and console with the ones that did not win,’’ she stressed.

She averred that this attitude was capable of enthroning good governance and peaceful coexistence in the country.

The NEPAD boss said the agency had Focal Desk Officers at the 774 Local Government Areas across the country including the Federal Capital Territory.

“We also collaborate with clergymen, CSOs, community leaders, security agencies, etc; so you could see that it is a multi-task programme to good governance.

“During the 2019 elections, NEPAD, APRM and other partners would set up a situation room to monitor and gather information and discuss, and any form of violence would be communicated to the security agencies.

“We want to make sure that our advocacy does not start and end in Abuja; that is why we want to go to the communities for the sensitisation programme.

“We have officially unveiled the jingles for the violence- free election that was produced by the agency; we are trying to translate them into indigenous languages,’’ Akobundu said.

She said that NEPAD would want to disseminate its messages to the citizenry without any hindrance.

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