By Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna
Barely less than three weeks before the 2023 general elections, Clerics from the Islamic and Christian faith, have called on Nigerians to shun all forms of political violence during, before, and after elections.
The clerics made the call at a Public lecture in Kaduna organized by Sabil Charitable lnternational organization (SCIO) with the theme “Promoting Tolerance, and Peaceful co-existence before, during and after 2023 General Elections”
Speaking with journalists, the Chief Imam of Sultan Mosque Kaduna, Sheikh Mohammed Suleiman disclosed, that it is high time Nigerians refrain from any form of political violence before, during, and after the 2023 General Elections, for the development of this country.
“As a Citizen, you have the right to vote in or out any candidate of your choice. You don’t have to take weapon waging violence in the name of defending your candidate” he said.
The Islamic cleric further explained, that youths being leaders of tomorrow, shouldn’t allow themselves to be used by selfish politicians as political thugs during the election atmosphere.
Also Speaking Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN), Rev. John Joseph Hayep said “election should be an opportunity for those who will lead to lead with patriotism but unfortunately elections have become an arena where politicians create division among community members and people of diverse interest”
“I joined this group today to say we must not promote religious violence despite the division. elections should be a period where we come together to kick out those we probably think didn’t serve us right by making our elections violence-free”.
Rev. Hayep appealed to Nigerians to stop fighting each other and join hands to vote for a credible government that will serve the country diligently.
Earlier in her welcome address the president of Sabil Charitable lnternational organization, Hajiya Halimatu Sadiya Abdu said, the aim of the gathering is to listen to a lecture on promoting tolerance and Peaceful Co-existence before, during, and after the 2023 General Elections.
“You will agree with us that this topic is very timely considering the forthcoming elections, it has always been observed that during such periods politicians and their followers usually engage in making uncivilized comments and attacks on their opponents during campaigns.
The President maintained that “such defamation does not augur well on the people that are supposed to govern our country and can easily trigger unrest and cause Crisis in our country, no meaningful development can take place in any society if there’s no peace”
She called on the public and parents to caution their children against any political turmoil, as the youths are usually vulnerable and ready to be used as crime tools for a meagre amount of money.
Hajiya Halima however, prayed to Almighty Allah for a serene election and to let peace reign in Nigeria, she concluded.