The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has launched an anti-violence social campaign tagged, ‘Do the Right Thing, Wage Peace 2015’.
This, it said, is to sensitise Nigerians on the need to eschew violence before, during and after elections.
Mike Omeri, director-general of NOA, who performed the launch alongside the representative of the minister of culture and tourism, said there was a need to sensitise the people in view of the atmosphere of fear of violence that has enveloped the polity ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Ahead of the polls which was to hold in February but postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to March and April, some Nigerians living in city centres had started relocating to their villages following fears of post-election violence.
According to Omeri, the campaign will include advising the populace to obey simple instructions from security agents and be polite to them, especially in times of crisis and that helps in curtailing violent situations.
“The Do the Right Thing WAGEPEACE 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, WAGEPEACE 2015 campaign was drawn from the need to give Nigerians confidence and reprogramme 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 aspects of the nation on one platform with one voice having one message which is for Nigerians to Do the Right Thing WAGEPEACE 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 5 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”, he stated.
Minister of culture, who was represented by Gloria Abumere, also underscored the fact that most Nigerians have expressed genuine fears over a possible breakout of violence within the period of the elections.
She added that the country needed a peaceful atmosphere to grow its democracy. “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.