LEADERS of ethnic-based organisations, civil society, cultural, artisan and faith-based community groups, yesterday, expressed worry over what it described as a slide into hate and disdainful, provocative statements by political and social media actors, ahead of the March 18 governorship and House of Assembly elections, saying such comments are aimed at spurring ethnic violence and conflict across Nigeria.
The groups, which frowned at threats capable of fueling ethnic violence, urged Nigerians to sheath their sword and allow peace to reign.
The statement was signed by Convener, Adewale Adeoye, Journalists for Democratic Rights, JODER, and 22 other groups.
The coalition said it was committed to preventing violence and conflict before and after the March 18 election just as it urged politicians and political parties not satisfied with the outcome of the polls to seek redress in court;
The statement reads in part: “We, leaders of ethnic-based organizations, civil society, cultural, artisan and faith-based community groups hereby assert as follows:
“That the anti-people policies of various governments in Nigeria have impoverished many Nigerians almost turning them to scavengers in their motherland with dire consequences on social stability.
“That we are worried about the slide into hate and disdainful, provocative statements by political and social media actors some of whose actions are fueled by mischief, propaganda and conscious lies aimed at spurring ethnic violence and conflict across Nigeria;
“That the promoters of violence and extremism are few. We urge all ethnic groups not to equate the extremist opinions of fringe elements with the popular opinion of the people they claim to represent;
“Our appeal goes to all Nigerians, especially in Lagos irrespective of faith, ethnicity and creed to sheath their sword and allow peace to reign;
“That we commit ourselves to prevent violence and conflict before and after the Gubernatorial election while any group or persons disturbed with the election outcome should seek redress in court;
“That we, hereby, agree to embark on massive campaigns, through pamphleteering, advocacy visits, and door-to-door engagements to stall any plot to cause disaffection, ethnic or religious strife between Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Ijaw, Urhobo, Ogoni, Andoni, and other ethnic groups Lagos or elsewhere before, during and after the election.”