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Lawyer urges candidates to avoid violent statements

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President Jonathan, General Buhari, Mr Kofi Annan & Chief Anyaoku in Abuja this morning.

Abuja-based Human Rights Lawyer, Mr Paul Eshiamomoh, on Sunday, cautioned all presidential candidates in the February election to avoid statements that could incite violence as agreed in the accord they signed on Jan. 14.

Eshiamomoh gave the advice in a recent interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

He advised that the violence-free accord signed by the presidential candidates should go beyond paper work.

The human rights lawyer called for issue-based and idea-driven campaign, “rather than throwing abusive words.”

It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan, along with other presidential candidates for the 2015 general elections had on Jan. 14, signed a violence-free accord before, during and after the elections.

In that document, all the presidential candidates pledged to shun words that could incite violence before, during and after the elections.

Jonathan signed the document alongside, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, APC presidential candidate and 10 other presidential candidates contesting Nigeria’s number one seat.

The rights lawyer, therefore, said “I wish to see the parties abide by the violence- free pact; we should see them in their speeches and their body language, making that commitment to Nigerians.

“We also want to see them taking steps to ensure that there is no elements of violence in their conducts.’’

Eshiamomoh also advised the political parties to take the violence-free election message to their supporters at the grassroots and urged INEC to guarantee a level playing field for all contestants by ensuring zero militarisation of the forthcoming elections.

He said “where there is transparency in the process and procedure of the elections and a candidate loss in that manner, definitely he or she will accept defeat.’’

(NAN)

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