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Stop Endorsing Candidates in places of worship-Peace Committee Urges Religious Clerics



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By Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna

Kaduna State Elections Monitoring Committee has expressed dissatisfaction on the negative role of some religious scholars and preachers for endorsing political parties and candidates in places of worship.

Excutive Vice Chairman, Kaduna State Peace Commission, Dr Sale Momale stated this at a news briefing in Kaduna on behalf of members of the committee.

He said the monitoring committee had held a meeting to review the Presidential and National Assembly Elections and assess the ongoing campaigns for the forthcoming Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.

On the ongoing campaigns for the Governorship and House of Assembly elections, Dr Momale revealed that, the Committee has noted the desperation of politicians and their supporters who are now deepening the ethnic and religious divisions in the State to achieve their personal interest.

He also said members of the committe decried alarming increased on the use of social media platforms to broadcast hate speech and fake news.

Dr Sale Momale stressed that, the Committee, as a matter of urgency appealed to all candidates vying for elective positions in the State, especially the Gubernatorial candidates to shun all forms of provocative statements that can cause trouble.

The Committee urged all political parties and their supporters are to henceforth stop hateful campaigns and incitements.

According to him, Kaduna State Police Command and other security agencies have immediately initiate actions that would stop incitements and provocation statement.

The Excutive Vice Chairman further stated that, Kaduna State Peace Commission, the National Orientation Agency, sister agencies, faith based organisations and civil society organisations would engage citizens of the State to calm the current tensions to ensure reversal to issue based campaigns.

Dr Sale Momale however assured that, Independent National Electoral Commission is working to address all the lapses associated with the Presidential and National Assembly elections to ensure free, fair and transparent elections on 11th March 2023.

He further revealed that, Christian Association of Nigeria and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam would issue a joint press statement appealing to religious leaders to henceforth stop using places of worship as avenues for campaigns and endorsing candidates.

He said the religious bodies should also extend the appeal to clerics outside Kaduna State who are engaged in endorsing candidates and inciting the citizenry in the State.

Dr Sale Momale however stressed the need for media organizations to assist in broadcasting peaceful messages to support the peaceful conduct of elections, while refraining from accepting advertisements that are inciting and provocative.

The Members of the Kaduna State Elections Monitoring Committee with representatives of the following organisations:
Kaduna State Peace Commission
The Nigeria Police, Kaduna State Command,
Department of State Services,
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps,
National Orientation Agency,
Kaduna State Vigilance Service,
Christian Association of Nigeria,
Jama’atul Nasril Islam,
Interfaith Mediation Centre,
Nigeria Union of Journalists,
National Association of Women Journalists,
Network of Peace Journalists,
Equal Access International (Nigeria)
Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women among others .

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