Restrain spokespersons from damaging language, heating polity – NEF to Party leaders

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has called on political party leaders to restrain spokespersons from using damaging language and exchanges that could heat up the polity.

In a statement issued yesterday by its Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the forum said it had followed the conduct of the elections, some of which are still being planned or conducted.

It expressed concern over rhetorics and exchanges which it said are raising tensions and fueling negative dispositions that threaten inter-community relations in the country.

The forum claimed it had sustained its decision to exercise responsible vigilance over the 2023 elections and also encourage the emergence of leaders under credible, free and fair elections and a peaceful transition from the current administration to the next one.

It also welcomed the decision of contestants who felt the elections had not met legal thresholds of acceptability to seek adjudication over its credibility and settle other constitutional issues related to it.

It, however, appealed to Nigerians to allow the judiciary to undertake its onerous responsibility in a calm and peaceful atmosphere.

The forum further expressed worry that leaders are not exercising enough responsibility to encourage respect for the judicial process, a key element of the electoral process.

It said: “The Forum is, however, concerned over rhetorics and exchanges which raise tensions and fuel negative dispositions that threaten inter-community relations.”

“Party leaders should restrain spokespersons from escalating damaging language and exchanges.”

The Forum reminded the judiciary that Nigerians look up to it to salvage democracy and restore the faith of Nigerians in its integrity and competence in the manner it handles all election matters.

It noted that at any rate, Nigerians should be reminded that the country must survive the elections and address the conduct of elections and strengthen the foundations of peaceful coexistence.