By Abdulwahab Abdulah
Lagos—The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Nigeria), a coalition of 102 civil society groups has said the credibility and outcome of the 2015 rescheduled general elections will determine whether the choices make by Nigerians will make or mar the country’s democracy.
This was disclosed yesterday by the national network coordinator of WANEP-Nigeria, Ifeanyi Okechukwu who tasked Nigerians at a media round table to present analysis of risks factors and recommendations towards peaceful elections to ensure that the forthcoming poll is conducted in an informed manner that will make the people benefit from its outcome, which will eventually strengthening the nations destiny.
In an opening remark, Okechukwu said, “Indeed we are set to make history and whatever the outcome of the upcoming elections. We can make history emerging stronger and unified with capacity to consolidate our status as the giant of Africa or we can make history as the giant that failed to actualise its potentials with grave consequences for its continued existence as a nation and as a people.
“The credibility and the outcome of the rescheduled elections of 2015 will be strongly hinged on the hard choices we make as a people to respond to risks or threats we face both perceived and real that has the potentials of truncating our democracy,” Okechukwu remarked.
He said the shift in the dates of the poll is a blessing in disguise to Nigeria as a nation, as it offers a unique opportunity to clearly work towards examining all choices and taking the rights steps to prevent the threat of possible violence in the rescheduled elections.
He said the media has major roles to play in sensitizing Nigerians, the political parties and all stakeholders on while the election must hold peacefully and allow every vote to count.
In the paper presentation, the body analyzed the built up to the election, the implications of negative and inciting statements by political actors, other incidents that can cause problems in the electoral processes and recommended a way out.
It submitted that the media and civil society groups “must maintain non-partisanship and be the platform to reduce tension in the polity.