CLEEN Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization(NGO), has expressed concern over the potentials of violence erupting across the nation during the general elections.
The Executive Director of the foundation, Gad Peter, made this known on Wednesday, in Abuja, during a briefing with Journalists to access the security threat before the general elections.
According to Peter the incessant attack on security and INEC offices nationwide is alarming, adding this led CLEEN to commission researchers across the six geopolitical zones to examine the security situation in relation to the elections and make recommendations for the successful conduct of the elections.
He said only Jigawa, Kano and the FCT are safe while, 13 states comprising Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Benue, Gombe, Bauchi, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba, Edo, Delta, Akwa Ibom and Abia are prone to violence and the remaining 21 states of the federation are currently engulfed in one form of violence or another.
“The frequent serious attacks on security agencies, installations and infrastructure in recent months are highly worrisome and condemnable. The pattern of recent attacks on security facilities and INEC infrastructure is suggestive that they are facilitated by criminals who are bent on pushing the country off the cliff.
“The law enforcement agencies need to take measures to prevent further attacks to boost the confidence of voters before, during and after the general elections. It is important to note that as recorded by INEC the recent voter registration has recorded the largest number of voters registered in the history of our elections and we are afraid that resources might be wasted if criminal attacks, threats and intimidation through violence and hate speeches lead to voter apathy
“CLEEN Foundation is worried over the unhealthy and divisive verbal attacks, hate speeches and criminal attacks on police, INEC offices, which if not firmly addressed may pose serious challenges to the elections, peaceful-coexistence and the unity of our beloved nation.”
Peter further disclosed that, the foundation employed the methodology of Election Violence Mitigation Tool (EVMT) of the Electoral Institute of INEC developed to track electoral risk factors with the potential of impacting negatively on the peaceful conduct of elections in Nigeria and to map out key electoral risk factors peculiar to each geopolitical zone.
The Executive Director however noted that, on the positive side, the signing of the electoral Act 2022 into law that enabled INEC to introduce the of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) has generated a lot of public interest especially among the youths who turned out to register in large numbers to participate in Nigeria’s forthcoming elections.
He charged political parties to adequately train to their agents used for election duties to avoid electoral offenses and be equally responsible for their actions during the elections.