Ahead of the forthcoming general election in Nigeria, the Anambra State Library Board has joined the rest of other civil society organizations in championing the ‘Vote Not Fight’ campaign.
The campaign which was staged in Awka, the capital city of Anambra state featured rally with chanting of solidarity songs and walks to various places and offices across the metropolitan city, including markets, police station, office the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), among others.
Addressing the campaigners on behalf of the Resident Electoral Commission in the state, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, the Head of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Leo Nkedife appreciated the various voluntary groups and the youths who joined in the campaign for seeing the need for peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections in the country.
He however called on every qualified Nigerian to get his/her PVC ready and to come massively to exercise their franchises on the election days, even as he charged those who are yet to collect their PVC’s to do so before the deadline which is this week Friday (8th January), as without it, they will not be able to exercise their rights of voting in or out, any candidate of their choice, which words and complaints alone cannot do.
In an interview with newsmen, one of the facilitator of the campaign and Ag. Director of the Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library Awka, Dr. Nkechi Udeze described the campaign as quite apt, given that a election is not supposed to be a period of war or crisis, but a peaceful exercise which requires a peaceful participation of every qualified and patriotic Nigerian, as the outcome (whether negative or positive) will generally affect everybody both now and in the future.
She further called on everyone to come out and vote massively, and stop assuming that their votes don’t count; advised politicians against inducing youths with hard drugs or using them as thugs to incite political crisis during elections, and called on youths never to allow themselves to be used anymore by these malignant politicians, as they are only damaging their future, and as life lost can never be regained.
On his own part, another major facilitator of the campaign, and Director of the Kings Faith Development And Youth Empowerment Initiative, Mr. Chukuwma Chukwura said the aim of the campaign was to promote and sensitize people on the need for peace both before, during and after election, and noted that they were out to shun any form of electoral violence, hate speech, vote trading and other such things which may mar the peacefulness of the elections.
He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to be firm and fair, shun rigging, vote buying, etc, and to put proactive measures in place to ensure that people votes actually count and that the politicians play by the rule, and confessed the readiness of the groups to partner with INEC to ensure that the elections are consummately peaceful, transparent credible and acceptable.
Other Civil Society Organizations and groups which joined in the nationwide campaign include: Nkala Iyke Foundation, Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), North Too Young To Run, among others.