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By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

FOLLOWING the commencement of campaigns for the 2023 general elections, the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) has cautioned politicians against playing politics with bitterness and violence.

The Forum charged politicians to instead embrace peace and promote things that would ensure nation-building.

This was contained in a joint statement on Wednesday by its co-chairmen, Bishop Dr Sunday Onuoha (Christian), and Alhaji Kunle Ishaq (Muslim) in Abuja.

The statement said, “Embrace peace; eschew violence, discrimination and hatred, and play politics without bitterness, in order to remain resolute in the development of the country.

“We are using this medium to call on all Nigerians to as a matter of fact see each other as our brother’s and Sister’s Keeper. We also appeal that we treat each other equally, regardless of our religious, political, gender and regional differences.

“We must work to dismantle the structures that entrench hatred and electoral motivated violence in our midst, as we approach the 2023 general election.

“We are calling on all our compatriots to join hands together to save our dear nation by stopping the spread of division through our actions and focus on spreading love in this election for the unity and development of Nigeria.”

The IDFP co-chairmen urged Nigerians to support movements toward unity in diversity everywhere in the country as peace ambassadors.

“We call on the people of Nigeria and state actors to work hard to achieve sustainable peace among the citizens in Nigeria.

“This is an important and urgent invite for preparation by various political parties as we kick start electioneering campaigns for the 2023 general elections,” they added.

The Forum noted that the nation is faced with lots of peace-threatening issues including flood menace, saying that the situation calls for holistic and urgent action on the part of both the citizens and the government.

“As conflicts continue to erupt across many parts of the country, displacing many people with its attendant tolls on the masses very negatively, we all have a role to play in fostering peace and tackling ethnic and religious intolerance.

“IDFP believes that achieving true peace entails much more than mere speculations on what needs to be done to change the situation around insecurity and hate speeches; true peace requires building a nation where all citizens feel they can flourish and are free to live harmoniously,” the statement also read.

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