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U.S Tasks Nigeria On Violence Free 2015 Polls

Channels Television  
Updated January 12, 2015

Election ViolenceAhead of the forthcoming 2015 general elections, the United States Government has urged Nigeria to ensure the conduct of free, fair and credible elections that would be free of violence.

The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, says it is only when the votes count that the electorate would accept the outcome of the result.

This was on Monday while declaring open a workshop for journalists on community reporting in the build up to the 2015 elections, organized by the American Embassy in collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Kaduna, North-West, Nigeria.

According to the Ambassador, the 2015 elections present a golden opportunity for Nigeria to demonstrate its lasting commitment to democratic values and institutions.

While stating that the United States was ready to support Nigeria on its journey to another democratic path, he emphasized the need for the government to tackle the issue of insecurity in all areas affected by insurgency.

He called on Nigerians to refrain from advocating , fomenting or condoning violence before, during or after the elections.

Mr Entwistle also urged political parties and the government to ensure that all registered voters participate freely in a peaceful and transparent process.

Also as Nigeria’s elections draw near, journalists are expected to play a greater role in informing the public with a view to allowing them make good choices on who would run the affairs of the country for the next four years.

The Guest Speaker, Professor of Mass Communication from University of Nebraska, USA, Gary Kebbel, said that the aim of the workshop was geared towards supporting Nigerian journalists to do a better job during the forthcoming election.

According to him, journalists have a key role to play in ensuring a free, fair and violence-free 2015 general elections.

The NUJ President, Mr Mohammed Garba, advised them to provide an impartial and complete set of information that would allow the citizens to make informed decisions.

He also urged the federal and state governments to step up the fight against insurgency in the north east and other affected areas to ensure the safety of the electorates, Journalists and electoral officials.

Some of the journalists covering the north eastern part of the country also allayed the fears of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) about conducting a violence free election in the zone, due to intensified deadly attacks being carried out by the Boko Haram members in the zone.

They called for proper equipping and motivation of the nation’s security forces to enable them face the terrorists squarely.