Let us all exercise our right to vote, in peace
My dear people of Kaduna State,
1. Tomorrow, the final phase of the 2019 general elections will be concluded with voting for state governors and members of the state Houses of Assembly. The elections two weeks ago for the Presidency and National Assembly seats were conducted peacefully in Kaduna State. I wish to commend the people of our state for this, and to appeal that the same peaceful atmosphere should govern tomorrow’s elections.
- Let me reiterate that elections are designed as a festival of democracy, where citizens exercise their powers to choose their leaders. Choice is at the heart of democracy, and I urge you all to go out on election day and freely cast your vote the way you want.
- We all have an obligation to respect the right of others to make their choices, and to express these choices without intimidation or duress. The right to vote freely is a fundamental human right, and no one should tamper with this.
- The exercise of this fundamental right requires that we all uphold our obligation to promote peace and maintain harmony. It is regrettable that some of our compatriots have resorted to the most hateful and divisive rhetoric in the final stretch of the campaign. As important as elections are, they should not be used as an occasion to incite violence or widen divisions.
Whatever your electoral preferences are, that cannot override your duty as a citizen to comply with the law and to respect the right of others. I urge all residents of Kaduna State to resist any temptation to engage in disorderly conduct and to promptly report any suspicious activity.
There is life after elections and we must all conduct ourselves in a way that does not undermine the ability of our society to function well, post-election. Whatever the choices we make at the ballot, we all remain citizens of the same state and above all, human beings with the right to live securely.
I wish to assure all residents of our state that the Kaduna State Government will protect the right of everyone to express their decision at the ballot box in free and peaceful conditions. There is no room for violence, intimidation, voter suppression or any unlawful activity. Nothing and nobody will be allowed to impair the ability of any citizen to freely cast their vote.
The security agencies, led by the police, will do their duty to protect the right of every citizen to vote. The police will be assisted by personnel from the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the Nigerian Customs Service, the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Nigerian Prisons Service. All the branches of the Nigerian military are on alert to serve as back ups to respond to any breakdown of law and order or to avert electoral disruption.
To assist our citizens to properly report any electoral disruptions, as well as suspicious or illegal activity, the following helplines have been opened at the State Security Operations Room: 09034000060 and 08170189999. Do not hesitate to call any of these numbers to lodge reports on voting day.
My fellow citizens, let us shun any form of violence. Let us all come out to vote and do our duty to make the election a peaceful exercise. We all have a duty not to allow any person or group to threaten the peace of our state. Elections are a democratic exercise; they must not be distorted into an excuse for violence and division.
God bless Kaduna State
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
8th March 2019