UN-IPGC envoy warns against election rigging, violence in Nigeria

Chimbo Obieze of the United Nations International Peace and Governance Council (UN-IPGC) has tasked political party candidates to focus on issue-based campaigns meant to benefit the electorate and generality of Nigerians.

Mr Obieze, the UN-IPGC special envoy on sustainable peace education and chairman of the International Human Rights Protection Services in Anambra, on Thursday in Awka, asked election stakeholders, especially candidates and political parties, to ensure issue-based campaigns rather than a campaign of hate.

“Election is not and can never be warfare but a civic duty. When elections are peaceful, post-election violence, rancour and discontent are minimised or totally absent. Hence, human lives and property are protected,” stated Mr Obieze. “Credible leaders emerge through peaceful and fair elections. Credible leaders usually work for the development of the society.”

The UN-IPGC envoy also warned unscrupulous political candidates and compromising staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to thwart the electoral wishes of millions of Nigerians by any form of rigging and electoral fraud.

He noted that “nobody should drag Nigeria into violence and unhealthy divisions and segregation by act of rigging.”

“The UN and its various bodies and organs are keenly observing the electoral process as well as various electoral actors and stakeholders. We cannot allow the most populous black nation in the world and largest in Africa slip into electoral crisis or violence; that would affect the entire African continent,” said the special envoy.

The presidential and federal parliamentary elections will be held on February 25. The governorship and state parliamentary polls are slated for March 11.