Home News INEC advises traditional rulers, subjects on peaceful 2015 polls

INEC advises traditional rulers, subjects on peaceful 2015 polls


ABUJA – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged traditional rulers to encourage their subjects to promote peace and avoid conflict through regular meetings, to ensure peaceful 2015 general elections.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, gave the advice at a one-day summit organised by the commission in Abuja on Monday with traditional rulers in attendance.
Jega also called on the stakeholders to do every possible to promote peaceful conduct of elections, mitigate conflicts and prevent violence.
He stressed that peaceful elections were absolutely necessary to consolidate and deepen the country’s democracy.
“It is important to note that free, fair and credible elections do not begin and end with only the procedures that INEC puts in place for the conduct of such elections.
“No matter how well elections are conducted, if the outcome is conflict-ridden and violent, it will lose its essence of deepening democracy.
“It will also undermine the credibility of electoral process,’’ he said.
He said that the commission needed the collaboration of all stakeholders, including the traditional rulers, to ensure that peace reigned before, during and after elections.
“Politicians are your subjects; they came from your communities and many of them actively seek your blessings for their political quests.
“You are well positioned, therefore, to influence them toward conducting themselves with civility and decorum, necessary to ensure peaceful and successful conduct of forthcoming elections.’’
Earlier, Mr Ishmel Igbani, INEC National Commissioner, said that the commission organised the occasion to brief the traditional rulers on its preparedness to conduct free, fair credible elections by 2015.
“As the custodians of our moral values, we also wish to partner with you in finding solutions to the recurring electoral violence before, during and after general elections,’’ Igbani said.
Responding on behalf of the traditional rulers, the Chairman, Coordinating Committee of Traditional Rulers in Nigeria, Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, urged traditional rulers to support INEC and pray for the success of 2015 general elections.
He also urged INEC to ensure that major Nigerian languages were used to sensitise Nigerians to the forthcoming elections.
“We want to actually suggest that at the federal level, major languages, especially Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo, are used to sensitise the people.
“At the state level, State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) should identify local dialects and make use of them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit was attended by top traditional rulers across the country. (NAN)

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