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NWTF boss decries electoral violence, urges electorates not to sell votes


Mrs Mufuliat Fijabi

The Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund (NWTF), Mufuliat Fijabi, has decried the violence that took place during last week’s elections, describing it as deplorable and a setback to the country’s democracy.

Fijabi advised aggrieved aspirants not to take matters into their hands or resort to violence, but go to court to seek reprieve, adding: “Some claim the results were manipulated and I think the best way to handle this is to go through the courts.

“Election tribunals have been set up and I am sure they have their evidence to prove that manipulations occurred. I don’t want a situation whereby we will heat up the polity with unfounded allegations.

“They have a right to protest the results, the right to have concerns about the elections, because we are in a democratic process, but we must remember to be civil and resort to the court of law and not take laws into our hands.”She urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure early opening of polls, deployment of materials and personnel, who should be given refresher courses before the elections next week to ensure smooth operations.

To security personnel, Fijabi said: “So far, they have been commendable, in my own estimation. They didn’t go the polling centres with arms and ammunition and they conducted themselves in a civil manner.

“However, they need to double efforts, especially regarding those that may want to cause trouble on that day, especially in states like Lagos, Rivers and Imo. Ballot box snatchers must be arrested and persecuted and the security agents must maintain peace, law and order.”

While decrying vote buying, she urged the electorate to stop selling their votes, noting: “Whoever gives you anything would try to recover and recoup all he or she spent before remembering you, the roads, hospitals, dilapidated schools, markets and all other basic facilities that should ordinarily be your right. If you don’t collect anything and vote your conscience, our democracy would be better for it and people that were voted for cannot say they gave you rice or spaghetti or salt and you have collected your share of the national cake.

“We have been telling Nigerians that a democracy not funded on voter inducement is the only way forward. We need people to account for potholes on the road, lack of drugs in the hospitals, poor education and why we are not benefitting the way we are supposed to. We want people to look beyond rice, salt and spaghetti.”

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Mufuliat FijabiNWTF
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