Group Urges Security Agencies, Stakeholders to Curb Electoral Violence

Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo

A non-government organisation, the Brain Builders’ Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI), has called on security agencies, traditional rulers and political stakeholders to do their best in curbing electoral violence in Nigeria.

The Global Director of BBYDI, Mr. Olasupo Abideen, made the call yesterday at the unveiling of the Election Violence Incidence Tracker Dashboard, and launching of Issue Brief, Factsheet and Research titled: ‘Election Violence Landscape in Nigeria: A Critical Intelligence Analysis from 1999 to 2022’, held in Osogbo, Osun State.

Abideen also charged the religious leaders and believers to tell their followers why they should discourage people from involving in the electoral violence, for development of the country.

He said there was need for a holistic approach to resolving electoral violence across board.

Abideen admonished the parents to warn their wards not allow themselves to be use for elections distribution.

He said the group would collaborate with political parties, INEC, security agencies and media to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

According to him, “Election violence in Nigeria is a major problem that threatens the stability of the country and the well-being of its citizens. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has a long history of election-related violence with incidents ranging from minor scuffles to full-blown sectarian conflicts.

“Electoral violence can take any form, depending on the period of occurrence during the election cycle. Pre-election violence could range from hate speech to the disruption of the electoral process, destruction of opposition campaign and publicity materials, denial of opposition the use public facility, partiality of the security agents, unlawful postponement of the election, unhealthy rallies, illegal arrest, intimidation of political opponents, and fake news peddling.

“Violence during elections is more tactical and can be evidenced by the absence, shortage, or late arrival of voting materials, manipulation of the election result, lack of openness in the counting of ballots after voting, denial of party agent participation in the voting process, hate speech, partiality of the security agents, delay in synchronisation of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to INEC server, transfer of voters to another polling unit without their consent, raising false alarm, incompetence of INEC officers, ignorance of the new electoral law on election cancellation.

“The electoral violence incidence tracker application will help mitigate electoral violence not just by monitoring its incidence but by also preventing its occurrence. The platform will monitor and report in real-time, the early warning signs and triggers of electoral violence across the country. We appeal with citizens and security agencies to work with us in achieving this.

“This factsheet on election violence in Nigeria will be used to provide insights into the risks and key indicators of violence during elections, and an issue brief on managing the risks and potential effects of electoral violence ahead of the coming elections.

“The BBYDI electoral violence incidence reporting dashboard will enable citizens to report cases of electoral violence in real-time, identify potential risks with an incident analysis dashboard, detect early warning signs, inform relevant stakeholders, and generate actionable reports to identify problem areas throughout the electoral cycle and alert relevant security actors.”

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