Growing beyond electoral violence is a hard nut that Nigeria must crack for its democracy to grow. 

But it appears this 2019 general elections will not be free of violence, except something drastic is done. 

It is just 25 days away from the election and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has expressed concerns over possible electoral violence in Enugu, Rivers, Imo, Ogun and Plateau states in the upcoming polls.

These concerns were raised by the Director General of the agency, Mr Garba Abari, at the launching of the nationwide sensitisation to peaceful election on Monday in Abuja.

Abari said that reports from its field officers across Nigeria indicated possible flash-points in states like Enugu, Rivers, Imo, Ogun and plateau states.

He stated that election periods were often characterised by great anxiety usually heightened by reckless utterances and action of some politicians.

Abari said as patriots and lovers of Nigeria, the citizenry must realise that, they had no other country but Nigeria.

“We have a duty to promote peace, enhance security, national unity and integration, using our diversity and our fault lines as a source of strength rather than a reason to commit violence," he said. 

The NOA official further highlighted that previous elections have been characterised by all manners of violence and called for a reversal of such menace.

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"Such must be addressed in the face of instances of pre-election violence that had been witnessed in places like Lagos, Wukari, and Taraba state.

The D-G said “our youths who are easily used by unscrupulous politicians as cannon folder for the perpetration of violence must be called to order".

According to him, this responsibility is on parents, guardians, religious leaders, opinion moulders, traditional rulers and youth leaders across the country as we draw near to the commencement of the general election. 

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