2023 Elections: NDD, MACE, MMPN Urge Nigerians To Vote & Vote Wisely

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The Network for Democracy and Development (NDD), Muslim Alliance for Credible Elections (MACE), as well as the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), have urged Nigerians to vote and vote wisely on Saturday, February 25 and Saturday, March 11.

The organizations in a separate statements issued on the eve of the general elections, appealed to Nigerians to embrace peace, while tasking the electoral umpire, INEC to conduct a free and fair election.

Statement of NDD and MACE is reproduced below:

Let’s Vote and Vote Wisely:
This year’s elections present a new vista of hope on Nigeria’s journey to greatness. More significantly, the presidential election will mark a change of guard in the leadership of the country as a new President will be inaugurated on May 29, 2023. Many States will equally witness changes in the headship of their governments.

With the carnival-like campaigns behind us, now is the time for sober reflection and voting. Nigerians must remember that their votes are consequential decisions that would determine the direction of the country in the next four years and beyond. Nigeria deserves leaders who have the capacity to heal our wounds, unite the nation and give us hope of a better future. We, therefore, have a duty to vote and vote wisely.

Appeal for Unity and Peace:
Nigeria is a fragile yet resilient state. Ranked 16th most fragile nation in the world in the Fragile States Index 2022, Nigeria has suffered from multifarious challenges for far too long. While some foreign interests and their local collaborators continue to predict doom for the country, it is up to us as Nigerians to prove the naysayers wrong.

Peace is a prerequisite for development. Election is neither a war nor a do-or-die affair. Let’s put the days of violence behind us. Citizens should show their strength through the ballot, not bullets. Nobody should be denied the chance to exercise their civic right. Let’s be united in our resolve to make the elections peaceful and credible. We must emerge at the other side of the elections as a more united people.

We call on community, religious, political and civic leaders as well as the media to sustain the message of peace in these last days to the elections. We specially appeal to women who, as mothers and wives, possess the rare gift of moderating influence on their families.

Tough Time Doesn’t Last:
While the current economic situation imposes further hardship on Nigerians, citizens need to remember that elections are more than events. They are part of the process that determines the fate of the nation. To this end, this is not the time for citizens to be broken and downcast.

All eligible voters – elite and commoners; those in the cities and the countryside – should show courage and resilience to exercise their civic duty by participating in the elections. Voter apathy does no one any good.

Message to Winners and Losers:
Democracy is a rule of the majority. There cannot be more than one winner in an election. God, the ultimate Decider, is the One who anoints leaders. Both victory and loss are tests from God. Winners must recognize the enormity of the trust that God and the people are placing before them and be magnanimous in victory. Losers, on the other hand, should be humble enough to accept the outcome of the elections in good faith.

Against this background, we urge all candidates, political parties and their supporters to show grace throughout the process of the elections. We must all put Nigeria first.

Commendation:
We commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his unwavering commitment to electoral integrity in the past eight years. We are encouraged by the efforts of INEC and other relevant agencies to deliver peaceful and credible elections. We appreciate the interventions of the National Peace Committee, religious bodies, traditional rulers and other critical stakeholder groups towards promoting the cause of peace.

We pray for peaceful, free, fair and credible elections. May the outcome of the elections bode well for Nigeria.

God bless Nigeria.

Tajudeen Alabede,
National Coordinator

Malam Muhammad Jameel Muhammad, General Secretary

For and on behalf of Network for Democracy and Development (NDD) and Muslim Alliance for Credible Elections (MACE)

2023: BE OBJECTIVE IN YOUR REPORTAGE, MMPN CHARGES JOURNALISTS

Ahead of 2023 general elections, the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) has advised journalists to fear Allah in their reportage of the elections by being objective irrespective of their political leanings.

In a statement issued in Abuja by the National President, Abdur-Rahman Balogun reminded Journalists of the ethics of the profession which preaches objectivity and accuracy.

Balogun also reminded Muslim Journalists especially, to have at the back of their mind, the motto of the Association, which says:” Say the truth even if it affects you “.

It is therefore expected of Muslim Journalists to see  the coming elections on February 25 and March 11, not only a call to duty but an act of Ibadat (Worship).

Allah says in Qur’an 51 verse 56 thus:”And I did not create the jinn and the mankind except to Worship me”  So all activities of a Muslim should be for the service of humanity and Creator.

So, Muslims should shun fake news and ensure all news are verified to be true before releasing it to the public through their various media.

Even though MMPN is non political and not in the business of endorsing any particular candidate, members are implored to participate fully in the electoral process and vote for any candidate of their choice.

Balogun therefore advised the Federal Government to make the environment conducive for journalists and voters alike by ensuring provision of adequate security of lives and properties of the citizenry.

“Let me also use this opportunity to call on all our Muslim brethren to pray fervently to Allah during Juma’at worship for peaceful and credible elections in Nigeria as well as smooth transition from civilian to civilian in May 29, 2023.

Undoubtedly, the country is undergoing serious challenges and such all hands must be on deck to restore the nation back to its period of excellence.

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