Ahead of the March and April elections, the federal government on Monday launched an anti-violence social campaign tagged: ‘Do The Right Thing, Wage Peace 2015.’
It was launched at the Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, by the National Orientation Agency (NOA).
The campaign is designed to sensitise Nigerians on the need to eschew violence before, during and after elections.
The Director-General of NOA, Mike Omeri, alongside the representative of the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Edem Duke, launched the campaign.
Omeri said the campaign was imperative in view of the current tension generated by the 2015 general election.
“The Do the Right Thing Wage-peace 2015 provides an over-arching platform to bring together all stakeholders and advocate for peaceful, violence- free 2015 election outcome.
“I believe that what we are doing here today and what we do in the coming weeks before and after the elections will greatly impact on the desired, violence free election outcome irrespective of who wins at the polls.
“The Do the Right Thing, Wage-peace 2015 campaign was drawn from the need to give Nigerians confidence and re-programme the minds of Nigerians towards a positive narrative which is the possibility of a violence free election.
“The idea of bringing different stakeholders together to push this message is to produce the biggest collation for peace where Nigerians can see different aspect of the nation on one platform with one voice having one massage which is for Nigerians to Do the Right Thing Wage-peace before, during and after the elections.
“The responsibility of putting this peace massage out there particularly at the pace and consistency we intend to run it (minimum of five media slots a day) is to all Nigerians because no one is exempted from the effect of election violence, thus the need for corporate Nigeria, the public sector, international community and well meaning Nigerians to endorse this campaign by putting it on air and supporting other activities of the campaign.
“We shall counter and drown the drums of war by beating the drums of peace; and we urge Nigerians to join us in this effort,” Omeri said.
The Minister of Culture, represented by Mrs. Gloria Abumere, also underscored the fact that stakeholders had expressed genuine fears over a possible breakout of violence within the period of the elections.
“We have a sacred duty as leaders in various spheres to advocate for peaceful, violence- free election for our country men and women. If the process is marred by violence, we all suffer in the long run.
“It is in this vein that I call on all stakeholders to robustly support this campaign tagged ‘Do the Right Thing; Wage Peace 2015.”
“We have often heard of people waging war, the clarion call in the building-up to the 2015 elections is for all Nigerians to wage peace.
“Our country needs peace now more than an other time in our national evolution. It is only in a peaceful roles to grow our nascent democracy,” Duke said.
The leader of the Association of Abuja Market Women, Felicia Sani, in a goodwill message, said waging peace was a collective responsibility of all Nigerians, and particularly for women who constitute the greatest number of displaced persons in refugee camps in the country.