Electoral Violence: Lagos, Kogi, Ebonyi, Kano Listed as High-Risk States

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Ahead of Saturday Presidential election, the Speak Out Africa Initiative has asked the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to put his men on red alert in some states considered as high-risk states for potential violence during the polls.

Addressing a press conference during the launch of the 1st NGO Radar Room for the 2023 elections in Abuja on Thursday, Kenneth Eze, Executive Director, Speak Out Africa Initiative,  said Nigerians must not lose sight of desperate and unpopular political actors who might resort to instigating violence to undermine the electoral process, adding that “We have seen hate speeches and abuse of political opponents, as well as attacks which has heightened the political space.”

He also said information from their organizations violence incidence tracker shows that there was need to alert the security agencies to place an eye on the following states as there is likelihood of undemocratic actions to be carried out which are proponents of violence.

According to him, “States such as Lagos are high-risk states – where there is likelihood of Voter Suppression, likely security breaches, Vote Buying, Deliberate logistics delay, Ethnic Coloration, attempt to compromise INEC staff, likely attempt to undermine technology functionality and palpable Violence attack on voters.

“Ebonyi and Abia as Medium Risk states – likelihood of attacks on political opponents using state machinery, Political desperation by key actors and politically-induced Voter apathy, Rivers & Delta as High Risk states – where political power tussle will be at the highest, Vote Trading and activities of Non-state actors.

“Kano, Kogi and Kaduna as High Risk states – where political power tussle will be at the highest, Vote Trading and attempt to compromise INEC staff and likely security breaches, and lastly Benue, Zamfara, Nasarawa, Anambra, & Enugu as Low Risk States that need to be curtailed.”

He also charged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to track all transfer of money 48 hours to the election day for possible identification of suspicious electronic money transfer from single source-to-multiple individuals as politicians’ device new means of vote buying while EFCC and ICPC handles the physical aspect of vote trading.”

He also said the initiative was ready to deploy Radar Officers Across the country who will track, observe and report Real-time Incidences with Accuracy as Well as assess the overall mood of the Nation and preparations of the Electoral Umpire.

Credit: Daily Trust

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