The National Orientation Agency has launched a campaign – “Do the Right Thing, WAGE PEACE 2015” – to tackle violence amid preparations the postponed elections.
The campaign was initiated to sensitize Nigerians to refrain from violent acts before, during and after elections.
The Director-General of NOA, Mike Omeri, said the program had to be initiated because the polity has become heated and violence-prone as a result of the 2015 elections which were postponed from February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11.
Mr. Omeri said the campaign will include awareness on the need to obey and be polite to security agents especially when it will help curtail crisis situations.
“The Do the Right Thing WAGEPEACE 2015 provides an over-arching platform to bring together all stakeholders and advocate for peaceful, violence free 2015 election outcome.
“I believe that what we are doing here today and what we do in the coming weeks before and after the elections will greatly impact on the desired, violence-free election outcome irrespective of who wins at the polls,” Mr. Omeri said.
He said the campaign had become necessary to give Nigerian the confidence of the possibility of violence free elections.
“The idea of bringing different stakeholders together to push this message is to produce the biggest collation for peace where Nigerians can see different aspect of the nation on one platform with one voice having one massage which is for Nigerians to do the right thing wage peace before, during and after the elections.
Mr. Omeri said the campaign will run in the media for a minimum of five slots a day, adding that that Nigerians have a responsibility towards the campaign. He called on “corporate Nigeria, the public sector, international community and well-meaning Nigerians to endorse this campaign by putting it on air and supporting other activities of the campaign.
The Minister of Culture, represented by Gloria Abumere, said most Nigerians are afraid of a possible breakout of violence within the period of the elections.
“We have a sacred duty as leaders in various spheres to advocate for peaceful, violence free election for our country men and women. If the process is marred by violence, we all suffer in the long run.
“It is in this vein that I call on all stakeholders to robustly support this campaign tagged ‘Do the Right Thing WAGEPEACE 2015’.
“We have often heard of people waging war, the clarion call in the building-up to the 2015 elections is for all Nigerians ‘wage peace’”
She said the country is in dire need of peace for its nascent democracy to grow.
The Leader of the Market Women Association, Abuja chapter, Felicia Sani, said Nigerians, especially women since they constitute the largest numbers or refugees, have a collective responsibility to wage peace.