Etta Michael Bisong
The United States Embassy in Nigeria has appealed to politicians and their candidates to accept the outcome of the 2015 general elections as the build-up draws near.
Cultural Affairs Officer of the embassy, Mr. Robert Kerr, who made the appeal during a workshop organised by the Youth Square Dialogue in Abuja, said if political aspirants fails to accept the outcome of the elections and the entire system collapses, they would no existence of the country to conduct any other elections again.
“If the votes are counted and you lose, well there is really nothing to do, but pick yourself up by the boot straps and say in four years we are going to come back,’’ he said. “If electoral cycle is four years, four years is not that long a time.”
Kerr urged politicians to run an energetic and passionate campaign that focuses on the issues and demands of the masses and promote development.
According to him, the US embassy hopes that Nigerian democracy would get to the stage that there would be no more electoral violence.
On promoting active participation of women in politics, he said women can be empowered by coming out in mass to register and vote the candidate of their choice.
Rhoda Robinson, Director Gender Development Programmes, Youth Square Nigeria Project in her address, hinted the dialogue was organised to develop strategies that would promote active participation of young women in elections and governance.
According to her, the major focus for the election is to get more young women to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to vote and when they vote they should make sure that they protect their votes.
“After a leader has been elected, whether or not it is their candidate they should understand the promises that that person has made to them and be able to follow up after,” she said.
Robinson explained that the project also involve building their capacity to hold their elected leaders accountable to the promises that they made before their elections, following them up and helping them achieve those things that they said that they would.