Dr Kabiru Mato, a political scientist, has advocated thorough re-orientation of politicians and their supporters on the dangers of pre and post-election violence ahead of the February general elections.
Mato, a lecturer in the Department of Political Science, University of Abuja, made the call in an interview with newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
He said politicians should re-orientate and educate themselves on the need to abide by the principles guiding the electoral process in order to curb pre-election and post-election violence.
“Mere statements that are made by political leaders do not necessarily translate down the level of the social strata where this violence is committed.
‘’Politicians should not make this a matter of life and death.
“They should transparently tell their supporters that it is a game of numbers and it is also a game of principles.
“If they don’t like me in your constituency, when I go there they should be able to tolerate me and listen to me; and if I go, once it is time to cast their vote, they don’t vote for me.’’
He said that Nigerians would be guaranteed peaceful elections once politicians come to the realisation that instigating electoral violence was inimical to the nation’s political development.
“The moment politicians realise that violence before, during and after elections do not serve the political master well, then the better for the Nigerian citizens.
“What we need now is a thorough political reorientation and a thorough political education.
“It is the politician that dedicates large chunk of his campaign funds that will buy illicit drugs for young people to get intoxicated so that they can deal with their opponents.’’
Mato also called on religious and traditional leaders to continuously sensitise their followers to reject any attempt by politicians to use them to foment violence during or after the elections.