The need for Nigerians to be peaceful in their conducts and shun acts of violence came to the fore in Ilorin on Saturday at a Violence-Free Election Sensitization Programme.
The sensitization programme which was at the instance of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Ahmed Ayinla Foundation (AAF), was held at the National Secretariat of Ilorin Emigrate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU).
The programme was well attended by youth groups, students of higher institutions, traditional rulers among other dignitaries.
The Chairman of Board of Trustees of the foundation, Alhaji Ahmed Ayinla Jimoh said the foundation was established for community development and promote peaceful co-existence in the state and Nigeria at large.
He said the programme which was first of its kind in the history of the foundation, was part of the foundation’s contributions to a violence free election.
Jimoh added that as a Peace Scholar, it behoves in him and his foundation to strive very hard for peace to reign before, during and the general elections.
He warned youths to avoid fomenting trouble before, during and after the general elections in the interest of peace and stability of the state and Nigeria at large.
In his lecture, the Director, Centre for Peace Studies, University of Ilorin, Prof Noah Yusuf described peace as a prerequisite for socio-economic, political and overall development of any society.
The don identified tribalism and favouritism, political thuggery, God fatherism, sit-tight syndrome, poverty and unemployment, incitement from media, financial inducement, illiteracy and ignorance as some of the factors responsible for violence during elections.
Prof Yusuf noted that no development could be achieved in an atmosphere devoid of peace and urged Nigerians and Kwarans in particular to be peaceful in all their undertakings before, during and after the general elections.
Also in another lecture, the Chief Imam of Olanrewaju Central Mosque, Ilorin, Imam Abdulqadir Salaudeen attributed act of violence to failure of government to carry out their responsibilities and injustice on the part of leaders among others and urged politicians to use the principles of Islam in their activities and let their fear of Allah be their watchwords
In his remark, the National President of IEDPU, Alhaji Yahaya Ahmed said Ilorin and Kwara in general are known for peace and urged the people of the state to avoid any act that could truncate the peace and stability of the state.
Also speaking, a youth leader who is the National Publicity Secretary of Ilorin Emigrate Youth Development Association, Alhaji Uthman Jagunma stressed the need for people of the state to avoid sentiment in their political judgement but let the interest of the state paramount in choosing their preferred candidates.
Jagunma also warned Kwarans especially youth to against being used as instruments of destruction so that the state would remain in peace before, during and after the general elections.
In the separate remarks, Daudu Fufu, Alhaji Muhammad Bello Muazu Alege; Alangua Owode-Oja, Alhaji Umar Kayode Sidiq; Magaji Ajia-sakasaka, Alhaji Oba Ajia and the chairperson of the occasion, Hajia Ibrahim Iyabo Onimago among other dignitaries who spoke at the event, warned politicians and their supporters to eschew violence in all ramifications.