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Nigerians have been advised to refrain from any act capable of instigating violence before, during and after the forthcoming elections.
An expert on Peace and Conflict Resolution, Dr Olaitan Adeleke gave this charge while speaking in Ede, Osun State at a special lecture organised by Rotary Club of Ede to sensitize the public on the need for peaceful conduct during the coming elections.
According to Adeleke, it is when all stakeholders follow the rule of the game that peaceful conduct during elections can be guaranteed.
The lecture was part of the club’s programme to mark Rotary International Month of Peace and Conflict Prevention.
Dr Adeleke, the Deputy Registrar at Federal Polytechnic, Ede, said peaceful conduct during elections can only be achieved if all stakeholders such as voters, security agents, INEC officials and the contestants work in commitment to ensure peaceful elections.
Dr. Adeleke said, ordinarily, election should not cause conflict and violence. He opined that it is the conduct of stakeholders who cannot subsume their personal interests to the national cause. Such interests are expressed in unfair conduct and sometimes skewed in the interests of the organizers.
He stated that free, fair and credible elections should be the target of every Nigerian. “To achieve this, Nigerians should have their PVCs handy, vote with confidence and avoid what can precipitate conflict, or instigate violence. On election day, voters should remain anonymous by not wearing any visible party totems/symbols that can provoke others,” he added.
The Peace expert also advised politicians to challenge results lawfully if and when necessary.
The Conflict Resolution expert concluded by saying electorate should conduct themselves peacefully and lawfully during elections knowing fully well that politicians hardly die in elections tumultuous disturbances.
Earlier while welcoming the guest speaker and the participants to the event, the Charter President, Rotary Club of Ede, Rotarian Ayodele Adeyemo (PHF), took a hard look on human frivolities, saying if individuals could embrace Rotary’s 4-Way Test which emphasizes truth, fairness, goodwill, better friendship and mutual benefits in all actions, there would be less rancour and violence on issues such as election or any issue of common interest.
He said the event was organised as an effort by Rotary Club of Ede to preach peace in the community during the coming general elections. He enjoined the participants to take the message to the grassroots. Participants were drawn from all walks of life.