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WANEP urges deployment of security agencies to aver post election violence

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..Worries voter apathy most likely in subsequent elections

Godsgift Onyedinefu

The West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) has called for deployment of security agencies across the country especially in flashpoints to prevent the eruption of violence after proclamation of results.

The WANEP also expressed concern over likely low voter turnout in subsequent elections following reports of violence which married the presidential and National Assembly elections.

The WANEP said it’s Election Situation Room (ESR) recorded a total of thirty eight violent incidents and thirty six lives lost during the elections.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday in Abuja on its preliminary statement on the presidential and National assembly elections, the WANEP ESR Co-Chair, Aisha Abdullahi, said, “WANEP received reports of ballot box snatching, armed violence and intimidation.

“A total of 38 violent incidents were recorded in the WANEP ESR between February 23rd and 24th 2019 resulting in 36 fatalities. We sympathize with the bereaved.” She said.

She added, “WANEP notes that with the reports of violence and deaths, ballot box snatching and various forms of voter intimidation witnessed in several locations during the Presidential and National Assembly elections, there could be voter apathy in subsequent elections.”

Abdullahi also urged the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders to take note of identified conflict flashpoints in order to take proactive measures to prevent future election violence.

She stressed the need to strengthen institutional capacity of national and state Agencies in charge if administering election affairs.

WANEP had in its preliminary report decried the disenfranchisementof voters during the polls. To this end, Abdullahi adviced that adequate measures need to be put in place to guard against the disenfranchisement of Nigerians based on religion and/or ethnic profiling in future elections.

She also urged the INEC to continue providing regular updates on the remaining aspects of the electoral process in order to assure candidates, political parties and the public of the integrity of the process.

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