Mission Mobilization for Peace-building and Development

March 30, 2007 07:00 ET


Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, PRESS RELEASE--(CCNMatthews - March 30, 2007) - NIGERIAN-CANADIANS HOST A DAY OF PRAYERS AND SUPPORT FOR PEACEFUL ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA.

Toronto: The Mission Mobilization for Peace building and Development in partnership with the Nigerian-Canadian Association will host a day of prayers and support for peace and non-violence in the 2007 elections in Nigeria. The event will take place on Saturday March 31, 2007 from 4pm - 8pm at the Northwood Community Centre. 15 Clubhouse Court Toronto Ontario.

As you may know, Nigerians will be going to the polls in April this year to elect new state governors and a national president for the country. The general elections will be held on April 14 and April 21, 2007. Governorship and state assembly elections will be held on April 14. The presidential and national assembly elections will be held a week later on April 21. The winner of the presidential election is scheduled to be inaugurated on May 29, 2007

There is a lot at stake in this coming elections; it will mark the first time an elected Nigerian leader has handed power to another since the country gained independence from Britain in 1960. The current president, Olusegun Obasanjo, who is finishing up his second and last term, brought the end of military rule when he was first elected in 1999.

But while this current government must be commended for its effort in strengthening the current democratic process since its commencement in 1999, elections generally remain a highly volatile and potentially explosive time for the country. According to Francis Ubah, President of the Mission Mobilization for Peace-building and Development, "many early warning observations have shown that elections if not well managed in Nigeria, could trigger current volatile socio-economic and religious divides in the country into full-fledged national conflicts".

Mission Mobilization for Peace-building and Development works to foster partnership and solidarity with peoples and nations most at risk of conflict, by educating the Canadian public on strategies for public awareness, involvement and solidarity. Since 2004, the organization has been working in partnership with non-partisan community groups in Nigeria to foster a culture of peace and non-violence in the electoral process in Nigeria.

Mr. Okpaleye, President of the Nigerian-Canadian Association (NCA) a co-sponsor of the event, affirms the day of action and support as a time to showcase the best of Nigeria in Canada. He describes the multi-faith, multi-ethnic and non-partisan gathering as an example of how Nigerians unit for the best of their country of origin. "A significant contribution that this gathering can make to the coming elections is to let Nigerians know that as they take on this next step they have the support of Nigerians and Africans in Diaspora. We are with them through this" explains Okpaleye.

In the keynote address, Dr Ola Kasim; Chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora organization (NIDO) of North America describes the day as "a show of commendation for the efforts taken by the current government of Nigeria so far to strengthen the integrity of the democratic process in Nigeria. We believe that we can enhance the accountability process in Nigeria by being vigilante, including commending good governance and challenging the leadership to achieve more."

"We have faith in the resilience of Nigerians. We have also seen great and exemplary leadership modeled in this current democratic regime. We are meeting here today in celebration of the many great things that are already underway in the country, but this optimism is not blinding us to the challenges ahead, we want to be part of finding and working towards solutions" kasim; a medical practitioner in Parry Sound Ontario, concludes.

For further information, please contact:
Choice Okoro
Director for Communications
Mission Mobilization for Peace-building and Development
416-740-3389 (business)
416-540-9759 (cell)


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