Peace Ambassadors representing the collective voice and concern of the West African States have addressed a critical matter to His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In their appeal, they emphasize the necessity of preserving peace, security, and democratic values in Nigeria, specifically in Kogi State.
Recent allegations surrounding the involvement of the Kogi State Governor in thuggery and electoral violence have raised alarm bells. These allegations not only jeopardize the integrity of the electoral process but also the safety of the state’s citizens. The Peace Ambassadors, in their capacity as advocates for peace and democracy, implore President Tinubu to take swift and decisive action to address these concerns and ensure a free and fair electoral process in Kogi State.
The allegations of thuggery and electoral violence in Kogi State strike at the heart of democratic principles such as transparency, fairness, and the participation of all citizens. To address this urgent matter, the Peace Ambassadors have laid out a series of crucial recommendations:
1. Investigation and Accountability: They call for a thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations against the Kogi State Governor. Holding individuals responsible for electoral violence and thuggery accountable, regardless of their political affiliations, is paramount.
2. Enhanced Security Measures: Given the volatile situation in Kogi State, the Peace Ambassadors urge the deployment of adequate security personnel to maintain peace and order before, during, and after the upcoming elections. The safety of citizens and the protection of their democratic rights must be a top priority.
3. Independent Electoral Commission: The Peace Ambassadors recommend that the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC Nigeria play a central role in overseeing the electoral process in Kogi State. INEC should have the autonomy and resources needed to ensure a free and fair election.
4. Public Awareness and Education: They emphasize the importance of promoting civic education and awareness campaigns to encourage peaceful and responsible participation in the electoral process. Education on the importance of non-violence and the sanctity of the ballot box is deemed crucial.
5. International Observers: To foster confidence in the electoral outcome, international election observers are invited to monitor the elections in Kogi State. Their presence will ensure an unbiased assessment of the process.
The Peace Ambassadors stress that Nigeria’s role in West Africa is pivotal, and the successful conduct of democratic elections in Kogi State carries regional implications. They emphasize that taking swift and decisive action to address these allegations and promote a free and fair electoral process will not only safeguard the democratic aspirations of the people of Kogi State but also uphold the cherished principles of democracy in the region. The eyes of West Africa are on this critical situation, and the world watches as Nigeria responds to this urgent appeal.