The 2Baba Foundation categorically condemns the stirring of electoral violence that has been reported in Nasarawa state. Certain persons, some of whom are community and religious influencers, have begun to heat up the polity by making inciting statements in the state ahead of the governorship and State House of Assembly elections scheduled to hold tomorrow, 18th March 2023.

One of the statements stoking violence, and probably the most disturbing of them, was allegedly made by a Senior Special Adviser to the State Governor on religious matters, Imam Muhammad Ali. In a recent video making rounds on social media, Ali referred to the elections as a “JIHAD”. This unacceptable incitement is currently causing panic in Nasarawa State, and has a viable potential to cause voters’ apathy and encourage acts of violence toward a section of the populace.

It has therefore become an absolute necessity for the Governor of Nasarawa State, His Excellency Abdullahi Sule, and other leaders within the State to clearly condemn these vile statements. We call on Governor Sule, the governing and opposition political parties in the state, traditional leaders, religious leaders and youth, to speak out inciting statements and call for peaceful participation. We call on the Governor to also take disciplinary actions against all the authors of these inciting statements, in order to serve as a deterrent to anyone who may want to tow the same lines. We also urge the commissioner of police for Nasarawa state to make arrests of persons inciting violence and prosecute them according to the provisions in the electoral act.

This is a worrisome development that should be quickly nipped in the bud. There have been concerted efforts in the last six months, by The 2Baba Foundation along with other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), to promote peaceful elections at all levels. The Vote Not Fight campaign has been underway, and has been received and endorsed by several political candidates and eligible voters across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The 2Baba Foundation renews its calls for peaceful participation in the upcoming gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections in Nasarawa state. Every eligible citizen reserves their right to vote, regardless of their religious tendencies or affiliations.

It is also very pertinent that adequate security measures be put in place ahead of the election for the safety of voters and INEC officials conducting elections.

The 2Baba Foundation calls on Imam Muhammad Ali along with other persons who have made these provocative statements to retract such statements and call on their supporters and followers alike to maintain peace and order at the polls. Religious leaders, whether Muslim or Christian, should promote peaceful co-existence as enshrined in the holy books, and not divide Nigerians. ,

Electoral violence benefits no one. The lives of our people are worth more than anyone’s political ambitions. Shun every form of electoral violence, oppression and suppression, and give peace a chance.

Vote, Not Fight. Election No Be War.

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