Anon-governmental organisation (NGO), the National Unity Forum (NUF), yesterday said the success and credibility of last year’s general election prevented those with sinister motives from causing post-election violence in the country.

The NUF has set aside February 25 of every year as its National Intercession Day.

The forum’s National Coordinator Godwin Meliga announced this in a statement after the NGO converged on the Unity Fountain in Abuja for a prayer march.

The group held intercessory prayers for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the 36 states’ governors and other persons in positions of authority across the country.

After the session of prayer, worship, and thanksgiving at the Unity Fountain, members of the group embarked on a solidarity march to the headquarters of INEC in Maitama, where they held another round of prayer for the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and the success of all future elections in Nigeria.

The activists lauded Prof. Yakubu for living above board in the conduct of last year’s general election.

The statement said the NUF prayed for the INEC chairman to succeed in all future elections, describing his position as pivotal to the sustenance, growth, and development of democracy in the country.

Meliga said NUF’s resort to prayers to seek God’s solution to the myriad challenges confronting the nation was informed by the time-tested efficacy of prayers and scriptural injunctions.

The activists quoted 1Timothy 2:1-2, saying: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives…”

The NUF thanked Prof. Yakubu and his team for their strident efforts at ensuring the success and credibility of the 2023 general election.

It noted that given the tense state of the national polity prior to the last general election, due mainly to socio-ethnic and geopolitical diversities, had INEC attempted to deliver a compromised electoral process, there would have been violence across the country, which may have threatened the very fabrics of the nation’s mutual coexistence.

“But the fact that INEC, under Prof. Yakubu, was obviously above board in the discharge of its mandate during the last general elections, helped to a great extent in disarming all those nursing sinister intentions for the country, including all those who may wish to capitalise on the outbreak of widespread electoral violence to achieve their narrow destabilisation agenda for Nigeria.

“Our group, therefore, enjoined all patriotic citizens of Nigeria, regardless of their faith, to consider it a civic obligation to spare some moments on February 25, every year to join their hearts in prayers to God for national peace, unity and progress,” Melinga said.

The activist noted that while other Nigerians “may resort to acts of self-denial, civil disobedience and open protests in order to express their disenchantment with the prevailing socio-economic and political challenges facing Nigeria, the NUF resorted to praying because it is the best option for the country at the moment”.

Quoting Job 12:23 -25, he said: “He (God) makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations and dispenses them.”

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