Christiana Gokyo, Jos
JOS – Plateau state politicians have been asked to put plateau state and its citizens first in all they do and say in their election campaigns and not for their personal gains, but for the good of the citizens of the state.
The Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos, Most Rev Ignatius Kaigama disclosed this on Thursday at the interactive session with governorship candidates of political parties in the state for the 2019 general elections at the Dialogue Reconciliation and Peace Center (DREP) Jos.
“DREP Center is to share with the political parties and to witness the resolved that they will make peaceful conduct before, during and after the elections of the month,” Kaigama said.
He urged them to run only issue-based campaigns, free of hate speeches, insults, intimidation, blackmail and inciting comments. He plead with them to use the forum to kindly call on their followers to exercise great restraint and conduct themselves peacefully.
Archbishop Kaigama observed, too, that citizens of the state have suffered so much losses and grievous pain because of needles conflicts and acts of criminality, and urged them to discourage the youth from violence of engaging in unbecoming conducts under the false pretext of “campaigning” for politicians or defending their interest.
The Archbishop was emphatic that, “Despite their political and ideological affiliations and differences, we can do to plateau state is not to allow their personal interests and differences affect the state and its citizens negatively.
He said that, Pope Francis in his message for 2019 World Peace Day said, “Good politics is at the service of peace. Politics is an essential means of building human community and institutions.”
According to Kaigama, “It can become a means of oppression, marginalization and even destruction, saying the thirst for power at any price leads to abuses and injustice.
“Political office and political responsibility are thus constantly challenged. Those called to service of their country and state, should make every effort to protect those, who live there, and to create the conditions for a worthy and just future,” he stated.
The Archbishop called on politicians to say “No” to violence and politics of bitterness, calumny, manipulation and intimidation.
Speaking earlier, director of DREP Centre, Rev. Fr. Blaise Agwom, said the signing of a peace agreement is a pledge to caution their followers to eschew violence, intimidation, hate speech and thuggery in the course of their campaigns.