By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – AS political interest groups continue to trade blames over the conduct of last Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State and the resultant end,the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice CEPEJ,has called on them to eschew hate speeches.
This was even as it tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC,to be transparent in its activities regarding election conduct in the country.
The organisation appealed to political actors not to heat up the country’s tensed political atmosphere through hate speeches which it noted,was detrimental to cohesion in any society yearning for development.
“The Centre notes that hate speeches could trigger violence, disaffection, divisiveness which could further retrogress than build the nation,” it said at a press conference addressed by its National Coordinator,Comrade Sheriff Mulade,in Abuja, Tuesday.
The non-political, non-governmental and non-religious organization, said its advice became necessary in view of ongoing developments trailing the conduct of the election and events preceding the 2019 general elections in the country.
“The advice became necessary owing to the very sensitive period of the nation as major electioneering campaigns will start in no distant time,” it said.
In a prepared text read to newsmen by Mr Mulade, the organization said: “We note that the world is watching and most Nigerians are apprehensive due to tensions being generated by the electoral umpire in the declaration of Osun State Governorship election as inconclusive.
” That the much expected election result was not announced has created some third force voice,giving room to all manners of permutations ,assumptions and prepositions.”
But the organization commended the Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC,on what it called the “transparent manner in which the Osun State Governorship election was conducted.”
“Before the election, INEC Chairman had assured Nigerians of the preparedness of the commission to conduct a credible, free and fair election.
” The Commission had also promised to use Osun State to experiment the fight against the monster of vote buying which in recent past became so pronounced in our elections.
“Nigerians should be hopeful as the Commission by its exemplary feat in Osun, has proved those in doubt the ability of our institutions to ever get things right to be wrong.
The organization said it passed a vote of confidence on the electoral umpire given that ” it saw some very remarkable and satisfactory improvement in the Osun Governorship Election.”
“It is without bias or sentiments,we applaud the election activities and coordination, as the Commission was highly proactive and innovative.
” Deployment of materials was timely and staff were professional in the discharge of their duties, “it stressed.