By Abimbola Akosile
A group of 22 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country have warned the various members of the political class to stop issuing reckless and inflammatory statements that are capable of over-heating the polity, ahead of the February general elections.
In a statement issued in Abuja, the coalition applauded the peace accord recently signed by the top presidential candidates, and called on all politicians and indeed all citizens to remain law-abiding and have faith in rule of law and due process; urging all politicians to address their grievances and misgivings through legally established channels.
Signatories to the statement include Y. Z. Ya’u of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD); Uche Wilson Dureke of Centre for Peace across Borders; Dr. Hussaini Abdu of ActionAid Nigeria; Dr. Abiola Akiode-Afolabi of Women Advocates’ Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC); Saudatu Mahdi of Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, (WRAPA); Isah Garba of BACIPEM, Bauchi; and Saludeen Hashim of the West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF-Nigeria).
Others include Anya Okeke of State of African Union (SOTU); Auwal Musa Rafsanjani of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC); Ezenwa Nwagwu of Partners on Electoral Reform; Jaye Gaskiya of Protest to Power Movement; Idayat Hassan of Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD); Lukman Adekunle of Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC); Dr. Godwin Ojo of Environmental Rights Action (ERA); General Ishola Williams of Pan-African Strategic and Policy Research Centre (PANAFSTRAC)
The remaining signatories are ZIK Ibrahim of Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civil Education (CHRICED); Bilkisu Yusuf of Advocacy Nigeria; John Odah of Abuja Collectives, Abuja; Ezenwa Nwagwu of Say No Campaign; Emma Ezeazu of the Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE); and Chido Onumah of the African Centre for Media & Information Literacy.
In the statement released by Miss Uche Madueke of WACSOF, the CSOs noted that “We applaud the signing of an accord by leading candidates in the elections to keep to the code of conduct already signed by all registered political parties in the country and be civil and courteous during the campaign. The value of such an accord is however not in the signing but in keeping to the letters and words.