CITAD: Centre Warns Politicians Against Inflammatory Comments

Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has again called on political actors to avoid inflammatory and dangerous comments.

It expressed disappointment at the recent comments reportedly made by the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, at the party’s rally in Asaba, Delta State.

In a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday, the centre lamented that while the country was vehemently clamouring for peace, the PDP national chairman was beating drums of war.

Secondus reportedly said, “There will be war if the 2019 general election is rigged.”

A statement, signed by Hamza Ibrahim, the coordinator, Curbing Hate and Dangerous Speech Project of CITAD, described such remarks as reckless.

However, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed optimism that the coming general elections would be better than that of 2015, while urging security personnel to be non-partisan.

The commission’s director of security, Mr. Richard Awolola, urged all security personnel to be alive to their responsibilities and ensure credible elections.

He spoke at a training tagged ‘Election Security Personnel Training of Trainers for 2019 General Election’ organised the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) at Ikeja, Lagos.

Project coordinator of ECES in Nigeria, Mr. Rudolf Elbling, said a peaceful environment devoid of threats to lives and property was needed to conduct a credible election.

He added that the training was necessary in view of reported cases of security breaches in some parts of the country in previous elections.

In a related vein, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has pledged support for the presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Kingsley Moghalu, ahead of the February 16 elections.

A statement yesterday by the spokesman of YPP presidential campaign council, Jide Akintunde, quoted the Ooni as commending Moghalu for his vision for a new Nigeria.

Moghalu was at the Ooni’s palace to pay homage, as part of his seven-day campaign tour of South West states, which kicked off in Lagos on January 26.

In his response, Moghalu described the monarch as “a great and enterprising leader”.

He promised to unite Nigerians if elected, while extolling the virtues of the Yoruba as “a people of great learning.”

In a related development, Nasiru llahi-l-Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) has enjoined Nigerian to exercise their franchise in the coming general elections by voting for credible candidates that can deliver quality life for the citizens.

National president of NASFAT, Alhaji Kamil Bolarinwa, made this call during a special prayer for peaceful elections, held in Lagos yesterday.

He urged Muslims and non-Muslims alike should troop out en masse to vote for a credible candidate and not be influenced by political gimmicks or vote-buying.