Kaduna Peace Commission signs peace Accord with Guber candidates
By: Femi Mustapha
Kaduna State Peace Commission in collaboration with the Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW) and other Key Stakeholders, with support from ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) through the We You Project and the SARVE III Project has organized a Signing of Peace Accord by Gubernatorial Candidates in Kaduna State to ensure a peaceful, free and fair elections in 2023.
Addressing the audience who witnessed the signing, on 15th December 2022 in Kaduna, Chairman, of the Commission Most Reverend Josiah ldowu-Fearon said Democracy as a system of governance allows citizens of voting age the right to freely elect persons of their choice to occupy either executive offices or representative seats as provided by the Constitution of respective countries.
Reverend Josiah ldowu-Fearon explained that in the process of the contest among aspirants within political parties and candidates belonging to different political parties, acts of aggression and violent conduct are common throughout the world.
He however said Nigeria like many countries in Africa, have adopted a multi – party system which allows pluralism which opens up opportunities for the eligible citizens to aspire to leadership positions at all levels of governance.
The clergy added that Election violence, is provocative, hurtful and aggressive actions carried out by people that are associated with the candidates or political parties vying for elective positions during democratic elections.
He stressed that Election violence may occur during campaigns, on collection days or in the immediate aftermath of elections, especially when results are announced.
The Commission, however, prefers solutions to this by saying all are equal before God, and God gives authority to whomsoever He wishes.
He challenged the candidates to remember that Democracy requires not only fierce, fair, and competitive elections, but also the freedoms that make them truly meaningful.
The Clergy urged the candidates to educate their members that in a democracy, citizens must have a free way to choose leaders of their choice and are able to have freedom of expression within the given framework.
“Democracy only thrives in atmosphere of peace and social tranquility. Political parties candidates, supporters and the citizens can only exercise their free choice and franchise when law and order prevail.
“Let’s collectively embrace the best democratic values, respect the dignity of he human person, eschew provocation and hate speech and campaigning along
ethnic and religious lines. Sustainable democracy and deepen of citizens Participation is best achieved if we collectively agree to be peaceful and commit to peace processes.”
Speaking earlier Kaduna state Deputy Governor Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe said Kaduna state is one of the state free from pre and post elections violence in 2015 and 2019 she promised the state will sustain that in 2023.
He, however, urges the Commission to build the capacity of media practitioners on reportage in the electioneering period.