HURIWA Urges INEC and Security Agencies to Warn Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar Against Inciting Electoral Violence - Naijarecent
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HURIWA Urges INEC and Security Agencies to Warn Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar Against Inciting Electoral Violence

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to warn presidential candidates Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against inciting electoral violence.

According to the group, both major candidates’ alleged desperation is fueling a wave of pre-election violence across the country.

The group urged INEC to warn Tinubu and Atiku against making divisive speeches during campaigns, noting that such divisive statements have no place in Nigeria’s fragile politics.

WITHIN NIGERIA reports that HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, requested that INEC and security agencies map out strict strategies for preventing electoral violence as the country approaches the 2023 elections.

HURIWA’s reaction comes in the wake of a string of recent attacks on campaign rallies and INEC facilities.

It should also be remembered that one of Atiku’s allies, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, stated that if Atiku does not win the 2023 presidential election or if the APC wins, Nigeria will collapse, as well as Tinubu’s statement that being president was his life ambition.

However, Onwubiko noted that the level of electoral violence has recently skyrocketed as a result of these inciting remarks.

He said;

Such vilifying and acerbic statements from the two top contenders show desperation. It is not surprising, however, that the level of electoral violence has gone the roof of late after these inciting talks by both Tinubu and Atiku, with INEC saying it has recorded over 50 cases of electoral violence just between September 28 when the campaign officially began and now.

Some of these top contenders have a large army of motor park touts in Lagos notorious for electoral violence. What if any of these desperados loses? Will their violence-prone supporters take the result with equanimity?

Won’t they commit organise arson given the fact that fuel is easily moved in Nigeria with jerricans by street urchins? Why shouldn’t state governments and President Muhammadu Buhari ban the use of jerricans to carry fuel this is a tool that can be used for pre and post-election violence. The killing of a PDP women leader in Kogi is still fresh.

It is evident that the Nigeria Police Force can’t stop attacks on its offices and personnel are not equipped and capable of stopping election violence if these become massive in scale.

INEC and security agencies must come up with tight strategies to stop election violence which may escalate given that hundreds of inmates in prisons have escaped and some have just been released. The electoral body must also not hesitate to caution or disqualify a candidate inciting the public. The 2023 general elections are crucial for Nigeria’s future but politics is not a do-or-die affair. Those beating the drum of war should be retrained.

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