An NGO, the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), has tasked political candidates on issue-based campaigns rather than heating up the polity with campaigns of calumny and hate.
The Executive Director of CTA, Faith Nwadishi, made the call on Friday in Enugu during the South-East Stakeholders meeting in preparations for the General Elections.
Nwadishi noted that vote buying and selling also undermined elections.
According to her, candidates should campaign based on issues and not heating up the polity as well as creating fears in the hearts of people who want to vote.
Nwadishi also urged security agencies to ensure adequate protection within the election periods, adding that expectations were high by citizens whose interest was to ensure that their votes counted.
The ED said that the CTA would engage various stakeholders including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in ensuring credible elections.
“INEC announced that 171 domestic, 18 foreign and 4 international organizations invited by INEC have been accredited as observer groups respectively,” she said.
Nwadishi called for better synergy between the police, the lead security agency on election security and other members of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCESS) with stakeholders on election.
She urged security agencies to share important information with other stakeholders, especially on flash points as well as ensure their personnel were well trained on election duties.
She said: “The Centre, which has continued to observe elections in the country, including all the off-season elections leading to the 2023 general elections, will be observing this election by deploying observers across the 36 states and the FCT in Nigeria.
“These observers will be trained on election observation and adherence to INEC Election Guidelines. At this meeting, we have in attendance representatives from the five South-East States who will be observing the elections with CTA.
“The CTA will also be setting up an Election Day Situation Room in Abuja to receive reports in real time from the field observers”.
The executive director said that the meeting would provide an opportunity to have a conversation with stakeholders, examine critical issues and situations in relation to the 2023 General Elections.
“A key outcome expected from this meeting is the commitment from stakeholders to ensure peaceful, credible, free, fair, inclusive, and conclusive elections come February and March,” she added.
Speaking, Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Mr Ahmed Ammani, represented by the Police Spokesperson, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, assured the electorate and stakeholders of the commitment of security agencies to protect lives and property during the elections.
The commissioner enjoined all stakeholders to also play active roles in ensuring peaceful elections.
In his remarks, Dr Emeka Ononamadu, the immediate past Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Enugu State, called for commitment from electorates to ensure violence free election, adding “you must sacrifice energy and time to get democracy right”.
“We need to make time for an incredible and violence free election in the country.
“It is not something that will happen at your own instance alone but on the instance of all,” he said.