A non governmental organisation, the Centre for Global Peace Initiative (CGPI) and a faith based group, The Muslim Congress (TMC) have collaborated with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to sensitise prospective electorates ahead of the next general elections.
The groups say the move was to use the platform to sensitive both Muslims and non Muslims on the need to know the intricacies of election, how to get involved in electioneering process and the path to achieve a credible election for development.
The Amir (President) of The Muslim Congress, Dr. Luqman AbdulRaheem said that the program was put together to sensitive people about their Civic responsibility as citizens, educate them on the voting process and to highlight the attributes expected to observe in those vying for public offices.
Abdul Raheem explained that good governance can only be realistic when leadership emerge through general consensus and every effort must be geared towards enlighten the public on active participation in election process.
We are focusing on this particular area of electoral process because it is very important in our religion. When you cast your votes through voting, it means you are bearing testimony and that testimony will be held against you on the day of judgement, so, as responsible Muslim organisation, we need to tell the electorates to think through the voting process before casting their votes. Abdul Raheem said
He stressed that in Islamic jurisprudence, the process of electing leaders come with some qualities and characteristics which electorates must look out for and this according to him include; faithfulness, integrity, prudence, accountability among others.
AbdulRaheem emphasised that TMC was trying to disseminate election information to the electorates so as to fulfil its own role as a religious organisation.
According to him We don’t tell them to vote for A or B, we are only guiding them to know what to do during election.
On its part, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC used the occasion to conscientize the gathering on electoral guidelines and expose them to some new innovations introduced by the commission to follow during and after casting their ballots.
Lagos state Resident Electoral Officer who was represented by Mr Luka Buba while exposing the gathering through illustration to get a glimpse of the electoral process and some modifications that have been introduced by the commission said that the electoral body has concluded all the arrangements to ensure a free, fair and credible election.
INEC has gone through scientific stages of preparation for the 2019 election to ensure that votes count. Buba said
Buba who is the INEC Desk Officer in charge of Civil Society Organisation urged prospective voters to adhere to the Commission’s guidline and support the process leading to a credible polls.
The General Secretary of the Muslim Community, Oyo State, Imam Ismaeel Busayri, while speaking on the ‘attributes of leaders’, said that Islam as a religion, transcends the four walls of the mosque as it sees leadership as a divine mandate where everyone must participate.
While highlighting some of the characteristics of a leader which include uprightness and fear of God, Imam Busayri said: What to look for by the electorates in any leaders to be, is people with good track record and shun the looters who have milk us dry in the past. Nigeria is not lacking in terms of human and material resources. We have all these in abundance, what we lack is good managers, people of high Integrity that will use our resources for the development of the nation.
The Imam who urged every Muslims to actively involve in election process however, condemned the act of vote buying and selling during election saying that it attract great sins before the Almighty Allah.
Others who speak at the event enjoined electorates to conduct themselves and eshew violence and continue to preach peace and tranquil atmosphere during and after the elections.
The program which was held at Dawah Centre, Lagos is with the theme ‘Credible elections: foundation for positive development’.
Source: Voice of Nigeria