July 20, 2024

Elections: NDD, MACE urge Nigerians to vote wisely, call for peaceful transition

The Network for Democracy and Development (NDD) and Muslim Alliance for Credible Elections (MACE) have urged Nigerians to vote wisely in the coming elections.

The group made the call in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Tajudeen Alabede, and the General Secretary, Malam Muhammad Jameel Muhammad, on Thursday February 23, 2023.

NDD maintains that this year’s elections present a new vista of hope on Nigeria’s journey to greatness.

“More significantly, the presidential election will mark a change of guard in the leadership of the country as a new President will be inaugurated on May 29, 2023. Many States will equally witness changes in the headship of their governments,” the group said.

“With the carnival-like campaigns behind us, now is the time for sober reflection and voting. Nigerians must remember that their votes are consequential decisions that would determine the direction of the country in the next four years and beyond.

“Nigeria deserves leaders who have the capacity to heal our wounds, unite the nation and give us hope of a better future. We, therefore, have a duty to vote and vote wisely,” it added.

While appealing for unity and peace, the NND maintained that “Nigeria is a fragile yet resilient state.”

“Ranked 16th most fragile nation in the world in the Fragile States Index 2022, Nigeria has suffered from multifarious challenges for far too long. While some foreign interests and their local collaborators continue to predict doom for the country, it is up to us as Nigerians to prove the naysayers wrong,” it noted.

It stated further that peace is a prerequisite for development.

“Election is neither a war nor a do-or-die affair. Let’s put the days of violence behind us. Citizens should show their strength through the ballot, not bullets. Nobody should be denied the chance to exercise their civic right. Let’s be united in our resolve to make the elections peaceful and credible. We must emerge at the other side of the elections as a more united people,” the group charged Nigerians.

It, therefore, called on community, religious, political and civic leaders as well as the media to sustain the message of peace in these last days to the elections.

“We specially appeal to women who, as mothers and wives, possess the rare gift of moderating influence on their families,” NDD said.

It encouraged all eligible voters— elite and commoners; those in the cities and the countryside— to show courage and resilience to exercise their civic duty by participating in the elections.

“Voter apathy does no one any good.”

It advised all the candidates in the elections to exercise patience and affect defeat in good faith.

“Democracy is a rule of the majority. There cannot be more than one winner in an election. God, the ultimate Decider, is the One who anoints leaders. Both victory and loss are tests from God. Winners must recognize the enormity of the trust that God and the people are placing before them and be magnanimous in victory.

“Losers, on the other hand, should be humble enough to accept the outcome of the elections in good faith,” it said.

“We urge all candidates, political parties and their supporters to show grace throughout the process of the elections. We must all put Nigeria first.

“We commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his unwavering commitment to electoral integrity in the past eight years.”

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