Religious and Community leaders including politicians yesterday met in Ibadan where they made recommendations on how the country would record conclusive, free, fair, peaceful and credible elections that would put Nigeria in an enviable position among the comity of states globally.
Speaking at a symposium which was convened by Professor Sabit Ariyo Olagoke, the President of Centre for Religious Cooperation and Tolerance in collaboration with Shafaudeen In Islam Worldwide, the participants emphatically called for conclusive elections that is void of violence and untoward acts.
According to them, the Electoral Act of 2010 has given a guideline for the elections and adherence to this will help in the attainment of their desired objectives on the coming elections”.
Leaders who spoke during the annual stakeholders International Conference with the theme “2019 General elections,the stake holders roles and responsibilities” included Agbaakin Olubadan of Ibadanland ,Agba Oye Lekan Alabi ,Chairman of Impact Business Radio and Television,Deacon Owolabi Oladejo,Bishop Chukwudi
Henry Praise of Southern Nigeria Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction,Dr.Barihi Adetunji ,former Dean Department of Arabic Studies ,Federal College of Education,Abeokuta and Dr.Dare Adeyemo.a youth leader among others.
Discussants appealed to all religious leaders to pool their resources together and pray for the unity of the country in order to ensure peaceful elections alleging: “many of our religious leaders have been monetized and cannot speak on what will unite the country together but like preaching division because of their selfish intetest.
Oloye Lekan Alabi ,the moderator, a veteran journalist and former Coordinator of Sketch Press Limited called on the media to discharge their duties with a high sense of responsibility adding that what happened in 1983 when the NTA was announcing false report did no good for the unity of the country
He charged media practitioners to be very accurate,objective and shun any biased reportage in order to assist the elections and its credibility.
The Chairman of Impact Radio and Television Deacon Oladejo who alluded to the Water Gate Scandal in the USA called for investigative and objective journalism if journalists should be seen as discharging their watch dog rolerole in the society adding that the role of the media cannot be overphasised.
The convener of the symposium, Professor Sabit Ariyo Olagoke JP, who is also the President of Ajagun Esin Consultative Forum, said that he and his colleagues believed that the elections were going to be conclusive but warned that the INEC and the anti corruption agencies should collaborate with one another to make things work.
Olagoke reminded the contestants of the limitation on the amount stipulated to be spent for each positions adding that monetary inducement of voters should be avoided as stipulated in INEC guideline.