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No country should die because of elections – NGE

Femi Adesina MDAs Nigerians elect their next president this weekend, the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has tasked them to exploit the general elections to strengthen the bonds of Nigeria’s unity in diversity, even as it called for fair play.

In a  statement  signed by the President of the guild, Mr. Femi Adesina, after a meeting of  its  standing committee in Lagos, the NGE stated that without a free and fair voting process, Nigerians cannot  boast of having a democracy.
It observed that the campaigns, rather than focus on issues that are germane to the people’s  national life, have rather,  dwelt on individuals.
The NGE noted that the campaigns were done “ in such bilious and acrimonious way, whipping up negative emotions and sentiments, emphasising Nigerians’ fault lines as a people,” and condemned the trend “ in no unmistakable terms.”
The NGE  stated that it does not believe that a country should die because it held elections,  pointing out that on the contrary, elections should strengthen democracy, and reinforce national development.
“The stakes are high in the elections, no doubt, but voting to elect leaders is an integral part of democracy. We, therefore, do not believe that a country should die because it held elections.
“On the contrary, elections should strengthen democracy, and reinforce national development. In view of that, we do not agree with any group or interest threatening fire and brimstone over the outcome of the elections. Nigeria belongs to us all, and is greater than all.

“The onus is on all stakeholders to comport themselves decently and in order in this season. INEC, political parties, politicians, the electorate, security agencies, the media etc must work for the overall good of the country. Unbridled partisan considerations can only open the door of Armageddon, and when such is opened, nobody can determine who enters through such infernal door,” the NGE stated.

The Editors said it was gratifying that no further postponement was contemplated  after the initial postponement of the elections by six weeks, due to security concerns, and the need for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to get better prepared.

It noted: “The six weeks postponement window has allowed our armed forces, in collaboration with a multi-national coalition from the sub-region, to deal devastating blows on insurgents in the North-east of the country. We salute the gallantry of the forces, which has made the region more conducive for voting in elections.

On the outcome of the elections, the NGE  tasked losers to be gracious in defeat, and winner to be magnanimous in victory, “especially when results of the elections are free and fair,” pointing  out that, “in such contest, there is bound to be a victor, just as there would be a loser.”

It  stated that “hell should not boil over,” because the nation held elections.

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