OSOGBO – Some Nigerians on Monday in Osogbo advised politicians, especially those seeking elective offices to shun violence during campaign rallies.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews that such contestants should be in the forefront of promoting peaceful elections.
Mr Timothy Adesanya, a public relations consultant, said politicians should engage in violent-free campaigns.
“In the course of political rallies and campaigns, those who are contesting should make violent-free election messages the foundation of their manifestoes.
“When those who are to benefit directly from the electoral process make it known to their followers that they should shun violence, there is likelihood that the electorate will listen.
“It is however unfortunate, if politicians will mount the podium and charge their supporters to go into elections with the aim of winning at all cost,’’ Adesanya said.
Mr Bode Famobuwa, a businessman, was of the opinion that the electorate is always at the receiving end when there is violence at campaign rallies.
“Many bigwig politicians have police escorts while ordinary Nigerians are on their own.
“The victims of electoral violence, in most cases, are the ordinary people, while political office holders continue to enjoy the goodies of office.
“This is why it is important for prospective office- holders to serve as change agents in respect of promoting non-violent electoral process, ’’ Famobuwa said.
Miss Bimpe Oyegbade, a student, said that “once the electoral body is seen as an unbiased umpire, it is also the responsibility of politicians and political parties to give the right kind of enlightenment.
“Any politician that sings the tune of violence should be disregarded by the people. There are cases of students and ordinary people that have lost their lives during elections.
“It is my right to exercise my franchise by voting, that does not mean my life should be endangered,’’ she said.
Oyegbade however called on law-enforcing agencies to be ready to prosecute any person or group of persons found culpable of electoral violence. (NAN)