IRI, Stakeholders Canvass Peaceful 2019 Polls

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By Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi

Ahead of the 2019 general election, stakeholders in Bauchi State have resolved that they are not leaving any stone unturned to ensure that the general election scheduled to hold next year is conducted peacefully and void of violence.

The resolution was made Friday in a communiqué issued at the end of a one day engagement on election scenario, organised by the International Republican Institute (IRI) held at the Development Exchange Commission office in Bauchi.

The communique, which had the signatories of Hon. Zubairu Garba, a former official of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and representatives of political parties, security agents, civil society organisations, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) disabled persons and the media identified factors that could trigger election violence before, during and after the election in 2019 as well putting measures to ensure free, fair and credible polls.

“We have accessed the 2011 and 2015 general election and have identified issues such as dissemination of fake news, hate speech and vote-buying. These factors are capable of triggering electoral violence in the forthcoming 2019 general election.

“Also, high level of poverty, poor representation of minority groups, lack of party internal democracy and transparency of electoral institutions and misuse of the power of incumbency, amongst others, have the ability to trigger violence if not addressed,” the communiqué read.

In a paper presentation titled: “Consensus building on election violence mitigation”, a lecturer with the University of Abuja, Dr Ernest Ereke, said that the objective of the stakeholders’ engagement on election scenario was not to predict a negative outcome of the 2019 general election, but to identify what went wrong in past elections held in the country with a view of mitigating the challenges.

“With the election around the corner, our concern as stakeholders is to ensure that the 2019 election is conducted peacefully. But we must identify within the context of politics in locality, what can possible trigger violence and proffer solution,” he said.