By Our staff reporter
The Federal government has been called upon to ensure absolute security for voters and election officials throughout next year’s general elections period to make it credible and acceptable to all Nigerians and strengthen democracy in the country.
In a five-point communique issued by the Muslim Media Watch of Nigeria, at the weekend at the end of its Board of Trustees meeting in Ilorin, the body also called on the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to remain neutral in the conduct of the forthcoming 2023 general elections in the country.
The communique signed by Barrister Yusuf Olaolu Ali, SAN, Chairman and Malam Ibrahim Abdullahi, Secretary, further warned politicians not to Nigeria into a battle field because of their ambitions.
It advised that campaigns and electoral processes, must be devoid of criminal activities such as thuggery, arson, kidnapping, abductions and physical attacks.
The body called on security agents to deal with election offenders in accordance with the provisions of the new electoral law and other extant laws of the land.
It appealed to the National Assembly to urgently pass the law forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari, for setting up of National Electoral Offences Commission and ensure the constitution of the commission without further delay.
The board also tasked media organisations in the country to uphold the ethics of the profession, by shunning divisive reportage that could promote tension and violence during the general elections.
On the security challenges facing the country, the body commended security agencies especially the military for rescuing successfully the remaining 23 hostages captured by terrorists during the Abuja-Kaduna train attack in March 2022.
It advised that stringent measures be taken to ensure absolute security of citizens of the country before the Abuja-Kaduna and other railway lines are restored to prevent re-occurence of the ugly incident.
On the nation’s economy, the board listed unemployment, economic reforms, brain-drain, proper funding of education and addressing critical infrastructure such as roads, rail, air and sea transportation as the major challenges to be tackled in order to get the country out of the doldrums.
The board called on wealthy Muslims to support the group by sponsoring Islamic programmes all the year round and not only during the Holy month of Ramadan.