The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has stressed the importance of peaceful conduct of the forthcoming general elections in the country, urging all the stakeholders to ensure that the polls are conducted in the atmosphere that is peaceful and patriotism.
She tasked the stakeholders to ensure that the polls is free, fair and credible.
The UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Khardiata Lo Ndiaye, stated this on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the High-Level Stakeholders’ Dialogue on peaceful and violence free general elections in Nigeria.
Ndiaye, who made the call in her welcome address at the programme held at the International Centre for Culture and Events, Akure, reminded Nigerians that promoting a peaceful election and inclusive societies is one of the sustainable development goal and access to justice for all, building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
She expressed optimism that the investment to promotes good governance and peaceful co-habitation in Nigeria will help government and the people to live in harmony if the elections are conducted according to best practice.
“A free, fair and credible election will promote peaceful coexistence, help build strong institutions and foster sustainable development. We seek to ensure that everyone is equipped with the knowledge and awareness levels required to promote peace and stability and more importantly, to be able to activate and deepen the culture of tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
Declaring the workshop open, the Governor of Ondo state, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, called on all stakeholders to support the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) to conduct free, fair and credible election that is of world standard.
Akeredolu, represented by his Deputy, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, urged Nigerians to vote for credible candidates and embrace peace during the electioneering process.
His Osun state counterpart, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, represented by Dr. Olalekan Yinusa, the Supervisor in charge of the Ministry of Budget, Economic Planning and Development, urhed the stakeholders to kick against a political process that has persistently hobbled the nation’s development.
“For the summit to achieve its purpose and the nation to continue to witness peace and development, all the critical stakeholders, politicians, political parties, INEC, the media and security agencies as well as the electorates must all resolve to play according to the rules of the game.
Also speaking, the representatives of the security agencies at the workshop and Ondo state Commissioner of Police, AC Adegoke Alani warned various unions, especially the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW against any form of violence ahead of the general elections.
On the plans by security agencies to curb violence during the election, the police commissioner, said they have jointly strategized to ensure that the elections will not only be peaceful, but any act capable of distorting the peace of the state will not be tolerated, rather any suspect will face the full wrath of the law.
He noted that the police will not be an instrument of intimidation against the citizens or groups, but will carry out their responsibility by ensuring safety of protect lives and property.
The Ooni of I’ve, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, thanked the UNDP for organising the workshop, urging all stakeholders to have the love and oneness of the country at heart, while there were other goodwill messages from both the Christian and Islam bodies, JNI, NCWS, NOA, INEC and the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, among others.