NIGERIANS UNITED FOR PEACE.- (NUP)
At the end of the emergency meeting of the executives of Nigerians United for Peace, NUP, held at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja on the 17th March 2023, we hereby communicate the decisions reached for the dissemination to the Nigerian Media.
* NUP calls for peace as 837 Nigerian political stakeholders from various political parties jostle for 36 Governorship Positions, while 10,240 Assembly Candidates compete for the 36 States Assembly.
It will be a highly contested elections but not a do or die affair. We therefore appeal to the electorate and political stakeholders to embrace the spirit of peace as God fearing Nigerians to allow God’s Will to stand. Nobody can be declared winner of an election without God’s consent. There can only be one winner for any election, so all parties should be peaceful as they conduct their civic duties.
* Secondly, most important, we seize this opportunity to appeal to INEC to take urgent steps to amend the Electoral Act immediately after the 2023 Elections and re- issue New PVCs which will contain the NIN details of each Voter.
Firstly, INEC issued over 80 million PVCs but under 25 million voters were accredited because many Nigerians especially from the SouthEast registered in several places – Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, FCT & SouthEast States. Investigations revealed that many Nigerian Voters, Political Stakeholders possess 5 to 6 PVCs. This must be made a criminal offence and the use of the NIN for registration will address this lapse. We intend to write and partner INEC in this regard.
* It is very important for the new registration of the New PVCs to be conducted in the Voters State of Origin. In this way, there would be a level of authenticity by their local government to confirm them as Indigenes of the Constituency. This is a political project and must be conducted with due process and best practises.
We are all aware that the Constitution permits all Nigerians to reside and trade anywhere in Nigeria, but registering to vote & voting are civic responsibilities and not mandatory. The Constitution was silent on this and the Act establishing INEC gives it rights to amend the Electoral laws to address issues which may undermine the integrity of its processes. We are of the opinion that INEC has the right to re- issue upgraded PVCs and direct the Voters to register in their respective States of origin.
In this way, Nigeria will experience everlasting peace for elections and the government can concentrate on rebuilding the nation rather than fighting ethnic and religious battles for the emergence of competent candidates.
All over the world, only Indigenes vote for parliamentarian elections, because the decisions regarding governance affects them as Indigenes.
In Nigeria today, someone is voting for a Governor without any idea of their culture, sensitivities and sensibilities because he is a trader in the Constituency. That is a recipe for tension, violence, bitterness. Its important that those interested in voting should return to their states of origin to exercise their voting rights or remain in their host State conducting their commercial activities and not engaging in political activities.
In this way, Nigeria shall experience an unimaginable peace never before conceived. There will be better harmony between the Indigenes and the non- Indigenes. This will go a long way to ensure more realistic figures for elections in Nigeria.
We put this challenge to the outgoing government of Buhari and INEC Chairman Prof Yakubu as this would be the best legacy for Nigerians.
We look forward to a fast action on this proposal for unity, peace and reduced election issues which has embarrased Nigeria.
NUP also recommends strict discipline for negative social media content, edited, manipulated videos, audios and speeches. The social media needs to be sanitised as many voters don’t know fake content from authentic ones. This has caused serious damage to political personalities. INEC should please address this too.
Finally, INEC should amend the Electoral Act regarding Pastors interference in Campaigns, using the Pulpit, Blackmailing the congregation to vote for a candidate. Nigeria remains a secular nation and the issue of religious orientation ought not to be a criteria for consideration of any position but competence. That’s the way Nigerians should think as Patriots. INEC should incorporate disciplinary action, jail term without option of fine For Pastors found involved in this divisive act which could tear the country apart like Lebanon. We trust INEC will take strict measures and apprehend any pastor preaching against political candidates or appointees henceforth.
Representing the National Patriots.
Eng. Chinyere Okonkwo
Alh. Adamu Mohammed.
Comrade Effiong Etim
Partner: Headlinenews, National Patriots, Yoruba Council of Youths.
Arewa Consultative Forum. Middlebelt Forum.