THE Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), on Monday, embarked on a peace rally ahead of the Saturday presidential election, admonishing electorate to embrace peaceful electioneering.
The rally tagged: “Vote not to fight,” held in the city of Warri and environs purposely to sensitise the masses, particularly the electorate, on the need for free, fair and peaceful general elections.
The campaign walk lasted for two hours as members of the group, armed with placards in their tens, trudged through markets and streets, preaching peace and safety rather than violence and war during the polls.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “Vote to secure the future not fight,” “make peace win in the election,” “election is not war,” “Refuse to be used for violence,” and “There is life after the election,” among others.
National Coordinator for CEPEJ, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, while addressing Nigerians, said the purpose of the peace walk was about to ensure a peaceful election in the country.
He called on the Chief of Defense Staff, Directorate of State Security (DSS), political parties and the international community to rise and speak against violence before, during and after elections.
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According to him, “it is important for us to note that the world is watching, because Nigeria, as the giant of Africa, the world is watching us.
“We’re strongly appealing to the Nigeria Police to display a sense of neutrality because it is the neutrality of the Nigeria Police that will guarantee peace; the Police had been doing greatly in the past elections,” he commended.
The human cum environmental activist further appealed to the conscience of all stakeholders, especially politicians, to prevail on their wards to eschew violence and bigotry during the polls.
“In this 2019 general elections, there shall be no loss of lives, and this could only be curtailed by the police.
“As supporters of political parties, it is their responsibility to abide by the rules, no one should engage or embark on violence, it will not make you the winner.
“It also important to note that most violence in elections is instigated by candidates, and most of them their families are not involved.
“Let me also say that politicians and the electorate should accept the outcome of the election,” he admonished.
The rally was rounded off at the Warri Area Police Command headquarters, where Mulade presented a Peace Walk paper to the Area Commander for onward transmission to other security agencies.
In his response, the Warri Area Commander, DCP Mohammed Shabba, said he was impressed by the campaign exercise.
He said the police was fully prepared to take every challenge to ensure peace and credible elections across the country.
DCP Shabba, who was represented by Mr Spencer Tyozua, thanked Mulade for the gesture, hoping the crusade would be a continuous process.