CSOs open election violence monitoring centre in Abuja
The facility is for monitoring, systematisation, documentation and reporting of data, information, and analysis of incidents of violence during the general elections nationwide.
A statement yesterday by Abiodun Baiyewu and eight others said it had set up hotlines for complaints and observations while the entire electoral process lasts.
The civil society organisations (CSOs) called on Nigerians, local and international observers in all of the nation’s 119,973 polling units to report violence and their perpetrators, adding: “This is a shared responsibility.”
According to the statement, civil societies are not merely documenting violence, but would also take steps to ensure accountability.
The concerned stakeholders enjoined government to show by action zero tolerance for impunity and all acts of election-related violence before, during and after the exercise.
They welcomed the issuance of clear operational orders by the security services, urging work in the areas of monitoring and discipline of errant officers.
“The ineffectiveness of the Federal Government and its security forces in checkmating this cyclical violence has emboldened perpetrators over the years. The 2019 polls should be different,” the coalition appealed.
However, the national chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chief Ralphs Nwosu, has rejected the shift of the governorship and state assembly elections from March 2 to 9, 2019 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In an interview yesterday with The Guardian, he wondered why the electoral body unilaterally postponed the polls, which according to him, would jeopardise programmes of the people and worsen their hardship.
He appealed to the citizens to reject the alleged sit-tight script of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) reportedly “manifest in the irresponsible and scandalous postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections on the day Nigerians had prepared to cast their votes.”
Nwosu maintained that the shift of the first set of elections, done without consultation with stakeholders, should not affect the date of the gubernatorial and state legislature polls.
The ADC chair stated that Prof. Mahmood Yakubu had created an aura of suspicion around himself and his co-travellers with the sudden decision after assuring Nigerians and the international community of the readiness of the commission to conduct free and fair polls.
He, therefore, called for the immediate resignation of both the INEC chairman and President Muhammadu Buhari, who he claimed, was the “author of the script being presented by the former.”
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