-Nigeria police must remain neutral during the elections – Mulade
WARRI—– Ahead of the 2019 general elections, in their bids to see a free, fair, credible and peaceful elections across the Nigerian Federation, the Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ in collaboration with PHEW Foundation International has organized a peace walk to sensitize people of the Niger Delta region.
CEPEJ under the firm leadership of its national chairman, Comr. Sheriff Mulade had mobilized hundreds of people drawn across the Niger Delta region to preach the message of peace round the oil city of Warri and its environs yesterday.
The peace walk begins from the NNPC Junior Staff Club, Bendel Estate, Ugborikoko, Warri in Uvwie Local Government Area, Delta State and terminated at the Nigerian Police Area Command near NPA.
However, while addressing Niger Deltans that massively turned out for the peace walk at the NNPC Junior Staff Club before taking off, Mulade had charged all participants to go about the rally peacefully.
The renowned Niger Delta activist cum philanthropist had hinted the mammoth crowd on the reason for the rally, stressing that peace, security, love, unity and the conduct of a free, fair, peaceful and credible elections is the reason for the peace campaign.
“The purpose of this rally is to sensitize our people on the need for peace ahead of the 2019 general elections, this rally will be heard and watched all over the world” Mulade asserted.
Nevertheless, the peace walk take off from the NNPC junior staff club to the busy airport road down to estate and from there to Esisi road to finally terminate at the Nigeria Police Area Command, Headquarters in Warri.
While addressing the press, the rights activist had among other issues charged the Nigeria Police to continue to remain neutral during the general elections.
Text of the address presented by the CEPEJ national coordinator reads in part: “The peace walk of today, the 11th of February, 2019, is necessitated by the very sensitive period we find ourselves in Nigeria, the period of election is less than a week from today, Nigeria will hold the long awaited general elections that will usher in a new government.
“From history, Nigeria elections remain some of the most volatile in the world. The Center for Peace and Environmental Justice is very concerned about the incessant deaths as a result of bickering, discrepancies and the unbridled desire by our politicians to win elections by all means. There is hardly any election in which Nigeria does not lose a crop of promising men and women due to electoral crises.
“It therefore behoves on well meaning Nigerians to do everything possible to fight against violence and bloodshed that characterized previous elections in the country. This is why we have taken it upon ourselves to sensitize the public as well as call on the Inspector General of Police, the military and all those charged with the responsibility to maintain peace in our land to ensure that no life is lost in this 2019 elections.
“We are also calling on all political parties to ensure peace as elections are not a do-or-die affair. Elections should not be taken to the extreme of losing lives and shedding the blood of any Nigerian who is higher and greater than the entire exercise.
“The number of people that have come out to support our NGO in actualizing this peace walk is a pointer to the fact that millions of Nigerians want violence free elections. The crowd here today have joined the CEPEJ peace walk to your office to help convey to the Acting Inspector General of Police our desire for violence free elections in Nigeria.
“Please note that in the last general elections, the Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) led by its National Coordinator, Comrade Sheriff Mulade complemented the efforts of security agents and electoral umpire through peaceful advocacy to promote unity and peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.
“The Center is a Pan African non governmental, non-religious, non political and not-for-profit civil society organization established in 2007 as Niger Delta Reorientation Project, NDRP. It identifies and analyzes factors inhibiting the attainment of harmonious relations among ethnic groups, particularly the barriers to their participation in social, economic, commercial, financial, cultural and political endeavors.
Meanwhile at the terminal point of the peace rally at The Area Command Headquarters, The Nigeria Police Force, Warri, near NPA in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, in his response to the national coordinator of CEPEJ on behalf of the Area commandant, Mr. Mohammed Shebba; CSP Spencer Tyozu, head office operations Area Command, Warri had assured the organization of trying its best in ensuring that the elections are free, fair, credible and peaceful.
Mr. Tyozu had particularly lauded Mulade for the peace walk ahead of the 2019 general elections, describing the rights activist as a good spirited Nigerian.
In his words: “The police will not let you down in your quest for peace, peace has always been the utmost priority of the Nigeria Police, I will do well to pass this message to my superior authorities as you had requested”
The command head of operations had further tasked other Nigerians and NGOs to emulate the virtues of Mulade.
Some of the placards brandished by the peace campaigners yesterday reads: “Shine your eyes, ensure you vote not fight; Who gra gra help, many don die, use jeje go vote; No go snatch ballot box o, dem go arrest you; Vote not fight; Make peace win in the elections; Correct guys dey vote not snatch box; There is life after the elections, embrace peace”.
It would be recalled that the 2019 peace walk took off from Uvwie Local Government Area and terminated at Warri South Local Government, Delta State.