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AS general election draws closer, the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to display independence and be impartial in the conduct of the elections.
IDFP made the calls in a communique jointly signed by its co-chairmen, Ishaq Kunle Sanni and Sunday Onuoha. The communique was issued at the Forum’s General Assembly meeting held yesteday in Abuja.
The Forum also expressed concern over the security situation in the country and urged the Federal Government to scale up their efforts to arrest the situation as the 2019 general elections draw closer.
It particularly stressed that the FG should beef up security especially in areas ravaged by conflict and ensure that no citizen is disenfranchised owing to prevailing security challenges.
While further calling on the government to engage in massive sensitisation ahead of the polls, it charged Nigerians to embrace peace and eschew violence before, during and after the elections.
On the role of political, religious and traditional leaders and other stakeholders in the conduct of the elections, the Forum noted that they should be careful in their choice of words to avoid heating up the polity.
It added that the security agencies should be unbiased and remain neutral while discharging their duties during the general elections, noting that stakeholders such as religious bodies, civil society organisations, town unions, youth groups have critical roles to play to douse the palpable tension and ensure hitch free elections.
“That politicians should see election as a platform to serve the people and should not instigate violence in the process,” the Forum said.
It also encouraged the media to privilege peace journalism in their reporting of all national issues and especially on the general elections.
The general elections are scheduled to hold on February 16 and February March 2.
The Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) was established as a national interfaith and intercultural dialogue platform through funding and facilitation of the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID)), Vienna Austria.
It was formally inaugurated on January 16, 2017 in Abuja Nigeria with 100 Christian and Islamic leaders evenly divided. The Sultan of Sokoto and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria are the Patrons of the IDFP.
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