The Ambassador United states (USA) to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, has called on Nigeria government and her citizens to deliver a credible, fair and transparent 2019 elections, saying the world expects nothing less.
Symington gave this charge in Abuja on Tuesday, at the Peace and Security Network (PSN) Third Confab Series with the theme: “Towards 2019 Elections in Nigeria: Securitization of the Electoral Process and the Prevention of Violence”.
The US Envoy revealed that there was no elections in February next year that is important to the world as the nigerian election.
He therefore stressed the need for Nigerian government and her citizens to be fully engaged in the process in love, togetherness and equal participation to make the elections work.
Symington while noting that elections are challenging times for a nation adviced that every nigeria including the youths, security agencies and the government must unite in love and trust and not engage in hateful speech or Acts if they must achieve a peaceful and productive elections.
He further encouraged Nigeria to harness the energy and opportunity of her extraordinary youthful population for the good of its people and all its neighbours and the whole world.
He said: “It’s the hope of the world that Nigerian election will be credible transparent, fair and also the hope of the world that every nigerian is engaged.
“There is no election in the world that would have election in February that is more important to the world than Nigeria, the reason for that is the potential population bomb or explosion, infact the population of this part of the word is already exploded, that bomb has already gone off.”
“The question is how to harness the energy and opportunity of this extraordinary youthful population for the good of k it’s people all its neighbours and the whole world, and there is one thing that would make the difference and that will be the ties that bind people of Nigeria, ties of friendship of trust. Not of hate but of love, not of desperation but of purpose, not having hate speech, or hateful acts, but acts of love and kindness.
“During the course of a nation, the moment that those ties are often tested, are around election itself, so, the challenge us not just for the security forces and the government to plan, to resolve to share and to communicate and it’s not just for the citizens to do that too, both of those have to work together.”
“I think if that network focuses in this way, the chances of elections next year, will be peaceful and productive,” he stressed.
Speaking, the National Cordinator of PSN, Mr. Adeolu Adewumi, noted that the confab series could not be more apt towards ensuring a violence free elections.
Adewumi said that the event was organised to brainstorm on the securitisation of the electoral process and the prevention of violence.
According to him, the aim was also to know the strategic plans of the security agents ahead of 2019 elections since there were still insecurity in some regions of the country.
“We all are all witnesses to the fact that there is a resurgence of the insurgency in the North-East towards the 2015 elections; security agencies declared that they could not guarantee security during the election so it needed to be postponed.
“The question now is, are there signs that the 2019 elections will also be postponed? These are the questions we need to ask due to the recent attacks,” he said.
The PSN Coordinator however, regrets the unresolved crisis across states in the country with potentials to fuel election violence while calling stakeholders to reach at a working solution.
The country Director, Mercy Corps Nigeria, Dr. Darius Radcliffe, however, urged all security forces to remain apolitical during the electoral process.
He also pledged his support and commitment, saying: “we at Mercy corps will commit to ensuring a peaceful election”.
He assured that the group would keep partnering at all levels for a better and greater Nigeria ahead of 2019 elections, and called for a collaborative effort of all citizens.
“We have a strong collaboration with government, security forces, we have a strong affinity with LGAs, and religious leaders.”
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