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The leader of the Muslim Umma in Nigeria and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad III, has urged the General Overseer of the Living Faith World Outreach Ministries, also known as Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo and all other political stakeholders against their utterances, which appear to be heating up the polity ahead of the general elections in the country.
Sultan Abubakar, who spoke through Jamaatul Nasril Islam, cautioned Niger Delta ex-militants like the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Asari Dokubo, Victor Ben Ebikabowei(Boy Loaf), Government Ekpudomenowei(Tompolo) and other militants in the same manner.
Punch reports suggest that, JNI’s Secretary-General, Dr Abubakar Aliyu-Khalid, who spoke at a press conference in Kaduna on Sunday, said rather than fanning the embers of war, through statements credited to them, Oyedepo and his likes, should preach peace ahead the general elections.
Acknowledging that elections, the world over, are usually associated with anxieties, uncertainty and tension, Aliyu-Khalid, said there was the need for Nigerians to refrain from making inflammatory statements that could jeopardise the polls.
According to him, the forthcoming presidential election was the most keenly contested in Nigeria history, noting that even at that, there was the absolute need for all Nigerians, regardless of religion or tribe to shun violence before, during and after the elections.
The JNI scribe urged all the contestants to accept the outcome of the elections, saying in every election, there must be winners and losers.
He therefore urged the two major political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party and the main opposition All Progressives Congress, to abide by the Abuja accord.
He said, “While all these situations keep growing by each day that come to pass, the political atmosphere increasingly gets charged. With clashes between rival political supporters and thugs occurring at one place or the other, a state of fear of drifting to wide-spread violence as witnessed in 2011, is already setting in.
“For instance, Bishop Oyedepo of Winners Chapel at Ota, was reported to have made a lot of inciting hate speech recently. Tompolo and Asari Dokubo are not left out. This is just to mention but a few.
“The JNI, therefore, finds it necessary to discharge what it believes is an obligation upon itself; that is, to call on all Nigerians to shun violence in any way, in any form and at all phases of the elections and its aftermath.”
He called on not only Muslims but the entire citizens of the country to “demonstrate real and genuine sense of patriotism, responsibility, tolerance and commitment to peace and stability in Nigeria, before, during and after the forthcoming elections.”
He also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to be committed in ensuring free, fair and credible elections.
He said, “Bearing the burden of the trust of leadership, being conscious of the imperative of truthfulness in salvaging a rather drifting polity, the JNI hereby asserts that the most significant antidotes to violence are free, fair and credible elections on one hand and faithful acceptance of the outcome of elections by all on the other.
In any election, there must be winners and losers, and we would only get it right when the elections are obviously and manifestly seen to be transparent and credible in conduct, and consequently the losers accept defeat in good faith.”
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