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Kogi, Bayelsa Guber: CLEEN wants perpetrators of violence brought to book

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

The CLEEN foundation has called on Security agencies deployed for election duties in Kogi and Bayelsa states to investigate and arrest all those responsible for the electoral violence unleashed on voters by political thugs.

The foundation also callwd on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prioritize the prosecution of all electoral offenders in line with section 150 of the electoral act to serve as a deterrent in future elections.

The CLEEN foundation in a statement on Tuesday by Benson Olugbuo, it’s Executive Director noted that it recruited and trained a total of 61 INEC which observed that the elections were marred with killings and deaths on addition to ballot snatching, vote buying, late arrival of materials amongst others.

The Foundation expressed concern that the incidents that trailed the two elections indicates that key stakeholders such as Politicians, INEC and security agencies have not taken lessons from previous elections in preparation for the just concluded gubernatorial elections.

“It appears that we are retrogressing rather than building on the electoral gains made in the past”, the statement read.

The CLEEN therefore called on the federal government to commence the process of amending the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) in preparation for off-cycle elections and the 2023 general elections and Key provisions should include the establishment of an Electoral Offences Commission and criminalization of vote trading.

The foundation called on INEC to consider and implement electronic voting to reduce physical contact with election materials for future elections to reduce electoral violence and to other with stakeholders to harmonize and standardize training modules on Election Security Management that will be used to train security personnel ahead of elections.

The foundation said the Police Service Commission and other oversight agencies should ensure that security agents deployed for election duty are duly debriefed and those found wanting should be held accountable for their actions or inactions during the elections in Bayelsa and Kogi elections. 

The CLEEN foundation finally called on the federal government to provide an enabling environment that enables citizens to exercise their franchise without fear of bodily harm.

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