Ahead of Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged all Nigerians to note that they are going to the poll and not to war, and should accordingly tone down their rhetoric.
The organized labour in a statement titled “Let’s Put National Interest First”, by its president, Wabba Ayuba, said there is no need to rig or snatch ballot boxes, as those things only show our weakness and primitivism as a nation.
He said the victory or loss of any candidate is not worth the blood of any Nigerian, “not even the blood of a chicken”.
The organised labour urged Nigerians to defy all odds to perform their civic duties, to vote according to their conscience and beliefs and not according to primordial or sectarian sentiments or emergency seductions, as they(labour) believe that the citizens cannot complain afterward if they do not vote or vote wrongly
“The moment of truth has come, and we must of necessity perform our civic duty in fulfillment of our beliefs or in betrayal of them. Our conduct will reveal our true identity, betray our intentions and test our claim to nationhood. We, therefore, challenge you the candidates, politicians, supporters, security personnel and INEC to be of utmost good behavior and ethical standard as well as conduct yourselves with civility, humility, truth and abide by the rule of law,” NLC said.
He urged INEC to be fair, impartial and just to all parties or contestants as the burden rest on the body to conduct free, fair and credible elections so as to earn the confidence of the electorate, “If INEC conduct themselves transparently, there will be very little need to contest their results”
Labour also appealed to politicians to refrain from frivolous allegations, inflammatory statements or unsubstantiated comments, while calling on security personnel to be civil but firm and be guided by the rules of engagement, especially the well-worn ground rules of military-civilian relations intense or anxious moments.
“Their professionalism, patience and impartial conduct will substantially reflect on the outcome,” the statement reads.
Reacting to the statement of President Muhammadu Buhari that ballot box snatchers face death, Mr Wabba said the order was not a license to kill, but intended to deter trouble makers.