By Femi Ogunshola
Abuja – The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has expressed concerns over possible electoral violence in Enugu, Rivers, Imo, Ogun and Plateau states in the upcoming polls.
Mr Garba Abari, the Director General of the agency, disclosed this at the launching of the nationwide sensitisation to peaceful election on Monday in Abuja.
Abari said that reports from its field officers across the country indicated possible flashpoints in states like Enugu, Rivers, Imo, Ogun and plateau states.
He stated that election periods were often characterised by great anxiety usually heightened by reckless utterances and action of some politicians.
Abari said as patriots and lovers of the country, the citizenry must realise that, they had no other country but Nigeria.
“We have a duty to promote peace, enhance security, national unity and integration, using our diversity and our fault lines as a source of strength rather than a reason to commit violence.
According to him, we are all witnesses to the fact that some of our previous elections have been characterised by all manners of violence.
He called for a reversal of such menace, stressing that such must be addressed in the face of instances of pre-election violence that had been witnessed in places like Lagos, Wukari, and Taraba state.
The D-G said “our youths who are easily used by unscrupulous politicians as cannon folder for the perpetration of violence must be called to order.
According to him, this responsibility is on parents, guardians, religious leaders, opinion moulders, traditional rulers and youth leaders across the country as we draw near to the commencement of the general election.
He reiterated the commitment of the agency to national unity, brotherly love, tolerance of differing opinions and religion.
Abari said that the agency was aware that the 2019 general elections could have significant consequences for the Democratic trajectory of Nigeria, West Africa and the entire Africa continent.