Vote competence, character, resist financial inducement- Interfaith group

By Bridget Ikyado
The Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) has urged Nigerian to vote for candidates based on character, competence and capacity as they cast their votes during this year’s general elections.
This is contained in a Communique signed and issued by the Co-Chairmen of IDFP,  Dr. Yusuf Yakubu Arrigasiyu and  Reverend Amos Kiri at the end of a Two-Day Peace Conference and 5th General Assembly of Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) held in Abuja.
IDFP is a faith-based organization made of 120 Christian and Muslim leaders across the country.
Reading their recommendations, Dr Arrigasiyu urged Nigerians, especially politicians to embrace love and patriotism for the country.
He said the ”the forum urges Nigerians to vote for candidates based on character, competence and capacity during elections for a progressive and peaceful Nigeria.
“IDFP urges the building of strong and resilient ethno-religious structures that emphasizes religious harmony, inclusive leadership and social justice.
“IDFP calls for effective collaboration among all critical stakeholders before, during and after the elections regarding planning, deployments, voter education, monitoring and information sharing to ensure that votes count.
“IDFP calls on INEC to conduct adequate training on the use of the BVAS to their personnel and provide prompt alternatives to faulty BVAS where necessary,” it stated.
The group also called on religious leaders to preach peace and not divisions and hatred.
“IDFP calls on Nigerians to reject every form of financial and material inducements for their votes and encourages the National Assembly to speedily pass a law for the establishment of Electoral Offences Commission.
” The Commission will work against impunity in election manipulations,” they said.
IDFP also called on Nigerians to work together to ensure that all voters are empowered with enough information that will enable them make wise choices and know the implications of letting their voices be heard.
They also urged Nigerians to do everything to prevent issues and situations that would polarize instead of leading to a consensus.
“In safeguarding the elections, we must ensure that matters are not exaggerated and reactions to ethnic tensions are proportional to the issues at hand so that peace would reign at every point.
“We must stand to safeguard the forth-coming elections in the context of ethno-religious sentiments by providing support and protection for those who are likely to be in the greatest need of assistance, particularly people living with disabilities.
“Appreciating how partnership and effective collaborations with local communities could help ensure and safeguard the 2023 general elections, leaders were encouraged to take advantage of this.
“Safeguarding also works through accountability and transparency. This will not only be expected from political leaders but also from all inter-faith actors,” it added.(NAN)