Foreign Countries under the European Union (EU) have expressed concerns over the conduct of the 2019 elections considering the rising cases of killings and violence in some parts of Nigeria, notably Plateau, Benue and Taraba states.
Sir Sean Hoy, the Ireland Ambassador to Nigeria, made this known in Yenagoa on Wednesday during a call on the Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah, at the Government House.
He said that although cases of violence cannot be ruled out anywhere in the world, the recent cases of killings and violence in some parts of Nigeria are worrisome.
"The international communities, particularly the European Union, are concerned about the killings in the country and also the President of Nigeria has shown concern. I was pleased that President Muhammad Buhari visit Plateau state," he said.
"We agreed that there would always be violence in the world. But it is our responsibility, as leaders, to do what we can to reduce it and to look at the causes of violence. If it is poverty or it insecurity, we need to find ways to resolve it.
"I think most Nigerians live peacefully. And when such peace is threatened, it is very bad. Now we are seeing insecurity and other conflicts. And we think those are caused by bandits.
"I don't believe that the peace-loving people of Nigeria are involved in the violence along ethnic and religious grounds. And it is very important that leaders preach peace because Nigerians are peaceful people and have lived together for a long time. Now that Nigerians are being threatened by negative Forces, that is where all of us, including world leaders, the Nigerian people and communities, have to come together and preach peace.
"If people resist violence, it will not succeed, no matter who forced it. On the issue of politicians' involvement in killings and violence, we don't have evidence but also we are members of the international community and can't comment."
On the 2019 general elections, Hoy also noted that the foreign countries were concerned over the threat of peace ahead of the conduct of the general elections.
"Our concern is for the election to be free and fair and for voters and the Nigerian people to accept the result. Our job is to make the election to be free and fair. And for the people to accept it and the possibility of violence will be reduced," he said.
"But if politicians do not accept the result and communities do not accept the result, them we have a situation on our hands. Our role is to provide credible monitoring. We would have to monitor and offer assistance to reduce violence. It is important that Nigeria shows example to other African countries with the condition of 2019 election."
Speaking, Jonah said the Restoration Administration, as Seriake Dickson's government is called, declared zero tolerance on crime and criminality early on.
"You know that the fundamental objectives and directive principle of state policy as stated in the constitution demands that the purpose of government is for security and welfare of the people," he said.
"And if you are in government, you must take the security and welfare of the people seriously. Even at the United Nations level, when we're talking of security we emphasise human security and it involves access to education, health, welfare and all that makes man move on. We have moved from MDGs to SDGs and all these are directed at the developing countries for obvious reasons and in Bayelsa state."