The National Peace Committee (NPC) has been urged by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to engage participants in the political sphere early enough to reduce electoral violence in the 2023 general elections.
The call was made by INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Wednesday in Abuja, when he received a delegation from the NPC, as well as representatives from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Kofi Annan Foundation, led by Rev. Father Atta Barkindo, who represented Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah.
The INEC chairman, who praised the committee’s commitment to peaceful elections through the Peace Accord program launched in 2015, said that nations are fortunate when they have moral voices, that their authority is based solely on moral persuasion, and that people listened.
“That is why I believe having a national peace committee and the type of people working in the National Peace Committee is a great positive for us as a nation,” Yakubu added.
“One of the things that the National Peace Group can help us do in terms of minimizing security concerns is early engagement with some of the actors,” Yakubu added, appealing to the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led committee for its intervention in relation to electoral violence.
“Imagine that some of those who conduct violence on election day are not necessarily candidates in the election, but persons engaged by beneficiaries of the election, not merely signing the peace pact on the day of elections.”
So, if we can interact with the actors early enough, I believe we can turn a fresh leaf in that regard.”
Earlier, Bishop Kukah, the meeting’s chairman, praised the INEC’s support for cascading the peace pact from the national level to the states, led by Prof. Yakubu.
The Kofi Anan Foundation and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, he said, were impressed by the NPC’s support and achievements.
They were at the commission, according to Kukah, to explore ways to strengthen the NPC’s relationship with INEC.