Spiritual leaders ought to communicate out forcefully towards those that would instigate violence based mostly on faith, ethnicity or different components, human rights organisations comprising International Peace Basis Nigeria, ADF Worldwide, and Imaginative and prescient Africa mentioned on Wednesday.
In response to them, doing so had develop into essential to stem the drift of the nation into an period of unprecedented disaster.
The CSOs mentioned that religion communities might now not afford to stay quiet whereas Nigeria continued to float alongside the cliff of disaster.
The CSOs bared their minds in a communique issued by the Nation Director of International Peace Basis Nigeria, Rev. John Hayab, on the finish of the inclusive safety dialogue and the inclusive youth dialogue towards electoral violence programmes, which have been collectively organised in Abuja.
The 2 programmes introduced collectively spiritual, political, and civil society leaders within the nation and over 300 youth leaders to debate and collaborate on areas of mutual concern and potential options to issues dealing with Nigeria.
The communique reads partially, “With consciousness additionally that uncontrolled violence and the specter of violence result in fears amongst religion communities, self-silencing of speech and different actions, and potential cycles of violence based mostly on self-help, the dialogue resolved that;
“All types of violence towards individuals should be criminalised and culprits prosecuted in keeping with the legal guidelines of the land; promote freedom of speech, particularly the correct to criticism; be certain that all complaints are investigated and applicable actions taken; and take precautions to cease the escalation of violence in any group.
“We declare and suggest that spiritual leaders ought to do extra to advertise peace for his or her communities and communicate out forcefully towards those that would instigate violence based mostly on faith, ethnicity, or different components.
“Safety forces ought to work extra carefully with native leaders to stop violence and the specter of violence based mostly on faith, ethnicity, and related components, and may extra aggressively prosecute those that commit violence or make threats whereas additionally doing extra to guard the victims of violence and menace.”
The coalition insisted that spiritual leaders should be actively concerned in peace dialogue given the affect they wield locally.
“Spiritual leaders have to truthfully preach peace to their congregations and communities and work to advertise mutual respect and understanding inside and between religion communities.
“Nigerians must be accepted all over the place within the nation the way in which they’re, regardless of their religion traditions,” it added.
Talking on the spate of political violence forward of the 2023 elections, the communique known as on stakeholders to make sure the legitimacy and stability of the nation’s democratic system of presidency.
“INEC should keep away from poor coordination of any electoral course of since a insecurity in an electoral system breeds violence; orient the youth on the risks of electoral violence to democratic stability; assist the lively and optimistic participation of youth within the electoral course of; and create consciousness in regards to the electoral course of and make the collation clear.
“The politicians have to desist from any inciting statements; name on their supporters to be peaceable and law-abiding; settle for defeat in good religion and be magnanimous in victory for the widespread good of the nation and humanity normally; and put nationwide curiosity above self and get together loyalty”, they mentioned.