The All Progressives Congress has assured Nigerians and the international community that it will do all in its power to make sure that the 2015 general election is violence-free, saying the rising apprehension about the polls among the populace is inimical to the conduct of a successful election.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party, however, said its efforts should be complemented by the PDP-led federal government, which has a propensity for using the security agencies to harass and intimidate the opposition and ordinary citizens.
It also said the FG should take all measures necessary to ensure that the elections are free, fair and credible, since rigging and other acts of electoral malpractices constitute the immediate trigger for anger and violence during and after elections.
”We have heard from Nigerians who are so afraid about possible violence during the forthcoming election that they are even willing to relocate to other countries until after the elections. But, as the biggest opposition party in Nigeria and a major stakeholder in our nation’s democracy, we are assuring, on our part, that there will be no violence.
”Though our party has no history of violence, we have commenced a nationwide effort to sensitize our members and supporters to the need to eschew rancour and embrace non-violent methods, even in the face of the kind of provocations to which we were subjected during the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections, when our members were needlessly harassed, arrested and detained by partisan security agencies acting under orders from the FG.
”If the federal government allows a level playing field for all contestants, if the security agencies stop acting as the armed wing of the ruling PDP, if the electoral umpire will carry out its duties without fear, favour or bias and if citizens are allowed to exercise their franchise unmolested, the stage will be set for a non-violent, free, fair and credible polls. In other words, the government has a major role to play in making the forthcoming polls peaceful.
”On our part, in addition to other efforts aimed at ensuring a peaceful election, we pledge to accept the result of an election that is not only free, fair, credible and transparent, but one that is also seen to be so. We hope other parties will make a similar pledge,” APC said.