2023: Tolerance, the recipe for violence-free Presidential Election

16th November every year has been set outside by UNESCO as International Day for Tolerance.

The day affirms among other things that tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference. It is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human.

Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. People are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe.

Localization of the significance of the day becomes more vital for a multi cultural society like Nigeria. With over 250 languages and diverse ethnic groups, adherence to the essence of tolerance cannot be overlooked.

To this end, tolerance stands out as a critical ingredient if Nigeria as a country would remain undivided and neatly tightened for common progress. Nigeria’s unity is centre piece in the hearts of her founding father. From Obafemi Awolowo in the western region, Nnamdi Azikiwe in the Eastern and Sardauna Ahmadu Bello in the Northern region. These Patriots never hide their unwavering love for a Nigeria where the Igbos, Yorubas and Hausa amongst other tribes are regarded as one.

It is important to revitalise the need for all Nigerians to abhor intolerance especially as the forthcoming general elections draw near.

As intolerance breeds hatred, evil and violence, tolerance is a significant recipe, solution to pre/post election violence.

Election is the signpost of democracy. It gives citizenry the opportunity to hold their leaders accountable. The beauty of democracy is diversity, that is plurality of choices for electorate. Here, voters are availed the opportunity to cast their ballots for any of the 18 Presidential candidates vying to replace President Muhammadu Buhari after the February 25, 2023 election.

Nigerians should frown at rhetorics targeted at attacking persons, ethnic/tribe/ religious cards as against tolerance focused campaigns.

In less than 100 days to the election, all the presidential candidates now have the opportunity to fire from all cylinders in a bid to sell, market their manifestoes to voters.

However, in doing so, the need to preach the sermon of tolerance an antidote to electoral violence should be a priority.

Political gladiators in this coming election should endeavour to build bridges in their bid to attract voters across the divide.

No Politician should convass for vote on the basis of tribe, religion, ethnicity and language.

There is need for all and sundry to embrace and accept each other irrespective of tribe, religion and Language.

To prevent the possibility of pre/post electoral violence, Nigeria’s political space must be saturated with ideas that bind us.

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