By Kayode Olarewaju
The National Peace Committee (NPC) on Tuesday called on Nigerians to put the disappointment of the postponement of the general elections behind them and respond to the call to patriotism when the elections eventually hold.
The body made the call in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), and Convener, Bishop Mathew Kukah.
It stated that “We understand your right to feel disappointed by INEC. However, we appeal to you all to see this as a watershed in the life of our fledgling Democracy. The only way we can ensure a steady Democracy is for us to learn the lessons from these sad developments.’’
“Therefore, we appeal to you not to count the cost of the setback, but respond to the call to patriotism. Do not relent, go out and fulfil your duty to your family and country on Election Day. We will soon turn the corner in hope. Rather than despair, rise up to defend our Democracy.”
According to NPC,“There is enough blame to pass around. The real challenge now is for us as a nation, to reach out to the deepest instincts of faith in God and our country. We must put everything aside and see this as a battle that all of us must win. The challenge is not who to sacrifice, but what sacrifice to make.”
‘’Also, the committee called on politicians to look beyond the struggle for power, show character and grace and work with the Independent National Electoral Commission “to inspire our people to new heights”.
“The challenge before you goes beyond the narrowness of political opportunities. This is not time to trade blames or to incite your supporters. Be temperate in your language so that we do not inadvertently set up our people for violence.’’
The National Peace Committee challenged INEC to work toward reclaiming its integrity.
The committee urged the electoral body to “patiently continue to focus on attaining internal cohesion and coordination”.