From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
A pressure group, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), have urged electorates to shun politics of ethnoreligious sentiments, and vote for competent and credible candidates in the 2023 general elections.
Comrade Jamilu Aliyu Charanchi, the National Coordinator of CNG, made the call at the ”North Central 2023 Election Sensitisation and Awareness Conference”, organised by CNG yesterday in Lokoja.
Charanchi advised electorates especially the youths to avoid politics of ethnic and-religious sentiment, describing it ”as a critical factor militating development and democracy in Nigeria”.
He emphasised the need for the electorates to scrutinise the political antecedents and pedigree of each candidate in the presidential election, and elect the right person irrespective of ethnic, religious and regional affiliation.
”We must come up with prescriptions to the growing ills of ethnic and religious intolerance in our region and the nation at large.
”The future of our nation depends on a new climate of tolerance and understanding of our various ethnic and religious differences. We must cultivate, preach and promote it.
”We must practice it. It may not take a village but it must take our collective commitment as a people and as a region in the service of Nigeria,” he said.
He enjoined the electorates to map out their needs and refuse to be deceived by just any politician coming with the usual campaign promises that would never ever be fulfilled.
He stressed that voters should look out for credible candidates with-proven pedigrees, honesty, sense of nationalism and sound understanding of the current challenges facing the country.
”We must vigilantly subject every candidate to critical scrutiny by demanding from ; him a comprehensive plan of action and extracting solid commitment to reverse the situation for the better.
”We must never again allow religious, regional or ethnic sentiments to becloud our senses of reasoning in the choice of those who lead us into the future.
”We should rather place competence, capacity and integrity above every other secondary consideration,” Charanchi said.
Earlier, the North Central Coordinator of CNG, Mr Mohammed Eneji, said the conference was to sensitise northern youths on the need to ensure peaceful elections come 2023.
He said CNG was formed by coalition of 52 various northern youth and women interest groups advocating for good governance and a just society.
He stressed the need for electorates to shun the politics of ethno-religious sentiments, and vote for competent and credible candidate irrespective of affiliations or background.
On his part, the Kogi State Coordinator of CNG, thanked the CNG national coordinator for choosing Kogi for the conference, while expressing his satisfaction with the participants’ turnout.
Our Correspondent reports that a Guest Speaker, Dr Isaac Achimugu, spoke on the event’s theme: ”Politics of Sentiment, A Critical Factor Militating Development and Democracy in Nigeria”
Achimugu urged the people to consciously develop a model of the mind that set things right devoid of ethno-religious and regional sentiments, but based on competent, integrity, skills, credibility and patriotism.
A participant, Danladi Baba, State Taskforce Officer, Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria, said the program has enlightened them on making the right choice in the 2023 elections.
Baba promised to go back and sensitise his colleagues on the streets on the need to vote for competent and credible candidate in 2023 without any form of sentiments.