Enugu- The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA has raised alarm over possible post election crises due to high level of political intolerance demonstrated by politicians in Nigeria through character assassinations defamation, provocative statements and uncouth languages which leaves the citizens gasping for breath.
The Zonal Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), South East, Major James Eze gave the indication at a pre/post election non violence - awareness workshop.
He remarked that while citizens have rights to aspire to the highest office in the land or any other lesser constitutional office, it is also normal for candidates to canvass for votes through persuasion and not harassment or intimidation that has become a regular occurrence in the polity.
Also read: NEMA lauds support received for terror refugees
“Aspirants recruit private armies to do their bidding by intimidating their opponents and wanton destruction of lives and property, thus a culture of intolerance has permeated our psyche that we embrace it as a normal campaign strategy”, he enthused.
He said that NEMA is quite alarmed and concerned at methods employed by politicians to solicit support for votes prompting the Director General, Alhaji Sani Sidi, to convene stakeholders to draft, the Nigerian Electoral Risk Preparedness and Contingency Plan: October 2014-March 2015”
The Zonal coordinator said the plan has been couched to meet the challenges posed by political intolerance and political violence stressing that the workshop aims to raise the consciousness of political hatchet men against the act.
In an address, secretary, Ebonyi State Emergency Management Agency, Igboke Umunna called for support to state emergency management agencies with assorted relief materials to respond to victims of any possible political crises. He appealed to security agencies, media and religious bodies to assist the agency in their various capacities to ensure that the country remained peaceful during and after the elections.
Participants in the workshop were drawn from different political parties, religious bodies, security agencies, the media, NEMA among others.
- News 24