National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has condemned in strong terms, electoral violence that took place in the last general polls, adding that the situation was anathema to nation building.
NHRC Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, told participants at a public lecture organised by Peace for Free Initiative on “Sustainable Peace Beyond Elections” yesterday in Abuja, that perpetrators were enemies of democracy. Represented by NHRC senior official, Titilayo Samuel, Ojukwu said Nigeria’s diversity in culture and religion was a strength that must be harnessed for progress.
He said: “The 2023 general elections have come and gone but not without pockets of infractions and violence which resulted in various forms of human rights violations.
“The ethnic and religious tensions in some parts of Northern and Southern Nigeria respectively are clear testimonies that peace pays while war, violence and conflicts bring destruction in terms of human and material resources.”
He, however, emphasized that tolerance and respect for each other’s beliefs and opinions were essential for peaceful coexistence in Nigeria.
A discussant and Professor of Mass Communication, Nasarawa State University Keffi, charged the youth to abstain from making themselves ready tools for violence over the outcome of the 2023 general elections. Igyuve commended the youth for their courage and active participation during the poll despite glaring hiccups.
He said: “Today your future is more important than any other thing and that future can best be guaranteed under a democratic governance and peaceful environment.
They are not doing it because they love you. They are doing it because they want to benefit from you.
“It is when you recognise that, then you will recognise the importance of peace in our societies and in our communities.”
Convener of the event, Chris Kalu, said: “This year’s elections generated public attention, particularly from youths who are increasing their political participation in the collective struggle for good governance.”
Kalu explained that the lecture series is aimed at educating citizens, particularly the youth, on the tenets of democratic practices.