Barely 48 hours to the 2019 General Elections, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Federal Capital Territory Council (FCT) on Thursday embarked on `Peace Walk’ to canvass violent-free election in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Peace Walk started from the Council Secretariat and terminated at Nugget Hotel with a `Talk Show’ organised by Living Foundation, an NGO.
Journalists during the walk held placards with different inscriptions such as Enough is Enough, Ballot not Bullet, Peace Engender Prosperity, Say No to Election Violence, among others.
The theme of the Talk Show is: “The Search for A Nigerian President of Our Dream’’.
The National President of NUJ, Chris Isiguzo, said the walk became necessary because of the need to have a peaceful election and democratic transition.
Mr Isiguzo said Nigerians should take the general election seriously and avoid acts that would jeopardise the democratic process.
“Boycotting the election or disrupting internet service during the election will portray to the world that we are not serious with democracy; the world is watching Nigeria at the election period.
“Let us try as much as possible to carry out a clean process to have the best election in the political history of the country.
“It is time to take the bull by the horn by casting our votes for the preferred candidate of your choice that will lead us in the next four years.
“If you collect bag of rice, garri, salt or money to cast your votes, just know that those things will not provide good roads, medical care or quality education for you and your children.
“I want to urge all journalists to be part of the democratic process as you go to cover the elections, ensure that you also cast your vote,’’ he said.
The NUJ national president also stressed that the union was in constant touch with all the security agencies in the country to provide adequate security for journalists during and after the elections.
Mr Isiguzo stressed that the era when journalists would go cover election and suffer arrests was over, adding that the union had taken steps to ensure that all journalists were safe.
“We shall be monitoring events in the 36 states of the federation and FCT as we Think Election, Think Peace.’’
The NUJ Chairman, FCT Council, Emmanuel Ogbeche, admonished journalists across the country to ensure that they stayed alive to report the stories.
“Journalists should desist from writing fake news and content that are not factual.
“Journalists should avoid collecting money from politicians to mislead the country and world; we must protect Nigeria and our democracy
“The lives and safety of Journalists matter a lot to this country; I believe that security personnel are our partners in progress and with God, the election will be successful,” Mr Ogbeche said.
Meanwhile, the organiser of the event, Frank Okechukwu, a pastor, said the essence of the programme was to sensitise the public about the need to elect credible candidates to lead the country.
He said taking gratification from politicians to vote was a wrong thing that will hunt the voters for the next four years.
Mr Okechukwu called on electorate to vote without sentiment to ensure that God-fearing leaders emerged in the 2019 general elections.
NAN reports that the event attracted journalists and stakeholders within and outside the FCT.
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