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PEACE & PEACEFUL CONDUCTS – ANOTHER PLEA FOR CAUTION

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“The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election, while the statesman thinks about the next generation.” ― James Freeman Clarke This piece is provoked by discussions on yesterday’s edition of  ‘Politics Today’ as broadcast by ChannelsTelevision yesterday evening. From the reactions of INEC’s chief spokesman, Mr. Festus Okoye who appeared on the programme, we all have to come together to assist our dear nation to promote democracy and grow our nation by employing peaceful and credible options. From his assessment of reactions of political parties preparing for the governorship elections in Ondo and Edo States, more interventions still have to be fashioned out by institutions and agreements reached by contending forces that all will be well. Late Justice Niki Tobi, Justice of the Supreme Court who delivered the lead judgment in the election petition brought against late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and which was decided in his favour on Friday, December 12, 2008, said:  “the way politics is played in this country frightens me every dawning day. ‘’It is a fight to finish affair. ”Nobody accepts defeat at the polls’’ This submission is reinforced by eminent jurist and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, the  Hon. Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais, who declared, while submitting the Report of his Electoral Review Committee that “mindsets are part of elements that determine the success of election practices and the mindsets of Nigerians are not only generally negative but also irrational.” A few months before the next governorship elections in Ondo and Edo States, the political turf and indeed the polity is being enveloped by increasingly unbearable heat. Desperation describes the mood of political actors in a way that confirms the positions of the late Hon. Justice Niki Tobi (JSC) rtd and the Hon. Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais (CJN) retd.  Given recent developments,  political leaders across the divide appear to be ignorant of the need for decorum in utterances and general reactions, as well as appreciate the importance of peace and peaceful conduct. But they are not ignorant and the position of the Law is that ignorance is not an excuse. Some posers arise: What could be the reasons or factors that cause gentlemen and women angling for positions of leadership to resort to violent conduct, or get vicariously liable for electoral violence instead of promoting peace and orderliness in societies they wish to govern? When are…

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