Damilola Oyedele in Abuja reported
for Thisday Newspaper that, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of
Nigeria has echoed the calls for peaceful general elections, saying citizens do
not owe their lives to the country, but their votes.
It also called on all eligible voters to go out en masse and exercise their civic right but that they should conduct themselves properly during and after the elections.
TUC, in a statement signed by its President General, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama and Secretary General, Mr. Musa Lawal called on Nigerians not to allow themselves be used by any politician as elections are not supposed to be a do or die affair.
“Unfortunately, that is what it has become in our clime. The 2015 elections are the most closely contested since the end of the military rule in 1999. Enough blood have been shed and we cannot afford to have this war of attrition, division along ethnic lines and religion continue. How do we explain it that Nigerians are worried because they do not have a valid visa with which to flee to the west if uncontrollable chaos breaks out after the elections,” TUC said.
The congress added that no politician is worth dying for.
It however, commended Nigeria for remaining united despite the hate speeches, pelting of stones and name calling by unrepentant loyalists of some aspirants.
“It is our expectation that everyone who means well for the country should be concerned about its stability. We cannot afford to stand more senseless killings. Increasing terrorist’s attacks in the northeast over the last four years have provided politicians with an unprecedented tool to sow mistrust, exploiting the country’s long-standing ethnic and regional divisions. This is strange to us,” it added.
TUC called on INEC, security agents and party agents to ensure that the polls are credible, without doubt to the outcome.
“We have prepared so much not to fail as far as these elections are concerned. We also encourage eventual losers to take it like sportsmen and women and always remember that ‘he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.’ Those elected should be humble enough to embrace their opponents and their ideas for the interest of the country. In fact, our proposition is to see gallant losers and magnanimous winners, not otherwise,” the congress urged.