The Partnership Against Violent Extremism (PAVE) Network, has expressed worry over attempts
by some groups and individuals
to truncate democracy through unconstitutional means to resolve present election disputes.
The group raised the concern in a communique it circulated among media houses on Monday.
The communique was issued at the end of its third monthly Steering Committee meeting held on Friday, 31st of March, 2023.
The communique was signed by Jaye Gaskia, Chairman, Steering Committee, PAVE Network,
Abubakar Mu’azu, Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress, Mustapha Muhammad, Democracy Action Group, Michael Sodipo, Peace Initiative Network,
Farida Haruna Jaktu, Women and Child Initiative, Idris Miliki Abdul, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, Saviour Akpan, COMPPART Foundation for Justice and Peacebuilding,Maryam Aje, Waka Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society and Dauda Muhammad, North East Youth Initiative Forum.
The Partnership Against Violent Extremism (PAVE) Network, is a nationwide network of Civil Society Organisations engaging in Preventing And Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) Programme in Nigeria.
It is an organisation committed to a secure and safe Nigerian society.
In the communique, PAVE said the invitation to unconstitutional resolution of election disputes as being presently canvassed by some aggrieved persons and groups is unacceptable, saying it portends danger for the future of democracy in Nigeria .
The organisation strongly condemned the call for interim government and military intervention by some elements, describing their actions as an invitation to anarchy.
It urged the promoters to desist forthwith, reminding them that there are “legal processes in place to afford those with grievances against the outcome of the elections to utilise.
“PAVE rejects and also condemns the unprecedented scale and scope of deployment of disinformation, the propagation of mutually exclusive and antagonistic narratives, and the conscious utilisation of hate speech and mobilisation of group hatred in the course of the 2023 general elections.
” It is clear that this conscious, deliberate, intentional, and malicious attempts at polarisation of the citizenry is intended to heighten political tension and provoke violence.
“This, no doubt, is a consequence of the disputes and dissatisfaction by some political actors which the outcome of the election throws up.
“PAVE condemns the recklessness with which various actors are propagating mutually antagonistic narratives capable of throwing the country into violent crisis, where citizens will be attacking one another,” the group said in the statement.”
Part of the communique further reads ; “Given the concern of PAVE, we are forced to state the following : “1. We condemn, in no uncertain terms, the activities and antics of religious bigots and ethnic irredentists, who are actively engaged in mobilising ethnic and religious hatred among our citizens to foment political violence.
“2. We equally condemn the actions of those elements among us, who either are overtly and covertly calling for, and making plans for the institution of an interim government.
“This call,including protests for the establishment of an interim government,is unconstitutional and treasonable.
“By its very nature, an invitation to the military to intervene, or an invitation for foreign intervention in the governance of our country are invitation to anarchy and violence which Nigeria can ill-afford.
“3. Given the foregoing, PAVE strongly condemns the call for military intervention as it is designed to cause political setbacks and terminate democracy in Nigeria.
“We call for the application of the maximum sanction on those making these illegal calls.
“4.We urge the Nigerian State and governments at all levels,
Civil Society Organisations, particularly pro-democracy and human rights Non-Govermental Organisations (NGOs), international development partners and the international community to act responsibly, and prioritise the safety and security of all citizens and persons resident in Nigeria.
“No individual or group should be allowed to engage in reckless statements and actions capable of plunging Nigeria into avoidable violence.
“5.PAVE unequivocally affirms the right of citizens to protest, exercise their rights and insist on the responsibility of the State to protect citizens.
“We do not support any calls or actions calling for military intervention.
“We equally condemn protests calling for military intervention, foreign intervention, and or unconstitutional arrangements; just as we are opposed to protests which push groups of citizens to physically clash with other groups of citizens.
“6.We urge all actors to act responsibly, and within the ambience of the constitution by seeking resolution through the laid down constitutional processes for resolving election disputes.
“7. PAVE equally calls on all actors, in particular political actors and civil society, given the gaps revealed by the recent elections, to prioritise and close ranks around enabling robust and consequential electoral reforms, including the use of technology, the positive conduct of actors, and the security of the electorate and election officials, as well as in the punishment of electoral offenses through the urgent establishment of the Election Offenses Tribunal.”
PAVE also noted the successful conclusion of the 2023 general elections despite the challenges of logistics, technology and pockets of violence in some states.
It spite of the observed challenges,PAVE said the election was relatively peaceful when compared to previous elections.
“It is our conviction that more needs to be done to further enhance the integrity of the elections and enhance the security and safety of citizens,” it suggested.
PAVE then called on all Nigerians, to act responsibly, and in the interest of ensuring the survival of the country, “the safety and security of all Citizens, and the prevention of internecine violence.
“Those who did live through,
and witness the horrors of the fratricidal Civil War, or authouritarian military dictatorships, may not understand the dangers inclement in the current situation, but it is our responsibility to point out the dangers, and urge that our interventions take cognisance
of these potential threats.” (vitalnewsngr.com)
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