Kano Election Peace Committee (KEPC) has expressed concern over cases of political violence in the state ahead of the 2019 general elections. Civil society organisations (CSOs), religious leaders and the academia, who form the committee, are especially worried over the death of four persons during a recent rally in Bichi and Rano areas of the state.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, leaders of the committee said that the “unhealthy political rivalry in Kano” where human lives were lost remained a bad omen in the country’s democracy.
The group also hinted its plans for a peace accord where top political aspirants would be invited to commit themselves to peaceful conduct of the elections.
According to the co-chairman of KEPC and Catholic Bishop of Kano, Dr. John Niyiring, the committee demands thorough investigation into the reported killings in Rano and Bichi councils to serve as deterrent to potential killers.
The police had indicted a House of Representatives member for Wudil/Garko, Mohammad Wudil, for allegedly mobilising thugs to the rally where fracas erupted and persons killed.
Said the bishop: “Let me remind our political actors, particularly the office-seekers and their supporters, that democracy is a game played through laid down principles.
“The ultimate benefit of every political leadership is how maximally the lives of the electorate are improved, secured, protected, preserved and empowered, not destroyed. We, therefore, want the police to investigate the killings in Rano and Bichi, and bring the perpetrators to book.”
Another leader of the committee, Prof. Ibrahim Umar, noted that the group was inaugurated as replica of National Election Peace Committee to midwife peace among the key political parties and their candidates, for the overall interest of peace and tranquility in Kano.
Prof. Ibrahim stressed: “Part of our objectives is to get flag-bearers of political parties to abide by the rules as enshrined in the constitution. We shall conduct public awareness where advocacy will be raised on the importance of peaceful co-existence during and after the elections.
“We would also, through the CSOs, monitor activities of all the political parties and their candidates to ensure compliance with the peace accord.”