Abuja, 17 March, 2023 / 9:24 pm (ACI Africa).
Members of the National Peace Committee (NPC) in Nigeria who include representatives of the Catholic Bishops in the West African nation have warned against voter suppression through “ethnic and religious labels” ahead of the Gubernatorial polls.
On March 8, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the postponement of the country’s election of new governors for 28 of the 36 States by one week, from March 11 to March 18, citing challenges in logistics.
In a statement obtained by ACI Africa Friday, March 17, NPC members who include Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Nigeria’s Sokoto Diocese and John Cardinal Onaiyekan urge INEC to ensure that the gubernatorial elections are peaceful.
“We are worried by the open threats of intimidation and violence by certain elements within the society who are using ethnic and religious labels to achieve their intentions of voter suppression,” they say in the statement signed by the committee’s chairman, General Abdusalami Abubakar.
NPC members appeal to the security and law enforcement agencies in Africa’s most populous nation “to remain alert and to bring to book anyone, no matter their position in society who poses a threat to the peaceful conduct of the elections.”