Kogi Guber: Hate Speech, Thuggery Escalates With Little or No Arrests – INGRA

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November 16 Governorship Election: Weekly Situation Report

Background

The November 16th Kogi State Governorship Polls are less than 26 days away and already the political atmosphere has exposed the fears and apprehensions that stakeholders had nursed leading up to the elections. Identified flashpoints and triggers issues in mapped Local Governments have began to play out as predicated.

Hate speeches and political thuggery has escalated with little or no arrests by the security agencies. Deaths and injuries have been reported at meetings and rallies with echoes of gun shots being heard despite assurances by authorities. This has further dampened the hopes by the electorates of a secured electoral environment

There has been a marked increase in the activities of political parties and their candidates towards the elections

Voter Education and Mobilization

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INE) has engaged Civil Society Organizations to conduct Door-to Door Voter Education in all the 21 LGAs of the state.

This is coupled with the on-going campaigns by different organizations that support CSOs towards effective Voter Mobilizations.

Radio programmes by the different Civil Society Organizations are on going

Political Parties

1. Campaigns:

The tempo of the campaigns have picked up with the 2 leading parties (APC and PDP) naming their campaign committees. Campaigns and rallies have commenced with different groups endorsing one party candidate of the other.

2. Violence:

The incidence of violence has increased with the reporting period with reported killings and injuries at political events in Anyigba, Dekina LGA and Kabba/Bunu. There has also been reports of gun shots during rally at Lokoja again.

These incidences align with the outcome from the mapping exercises done to identify flashpoints for electoral violence.

3. INEC:

The Commission continues to show its readiness for the elections through participation in civic and voter education programmes and events.

Elections Timetable

The Commission has stated that the display of the register of Voters was on going and that opportunity had been provided for examination of the list of the Final list of nominated Party candidates.

Conclusion

• Need for security agencies to intensify their pre-election activities to provide the confidence for voters to turn up on election day

• Political parties and their candidates must take positive steps towards promoting peace during the campaigns.

Signed:

Hamza Aliyu
Executive Director,
Initiative for Grassroot Advancement Commitment to Rural Development (INGRA)


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