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Women warn against electoral violence

By Michael Egbejule, Benin City
09 August 2016   |   1:30 am
Desirous to have a free and fair election, the National Association for Peaceful Elections in Nigeria (NAPEN) and Women Advocates Research and Documentary Centre (WARDC), have urged political parties and the electorate to embrace peace during and after the polls.
 Dr Abiola Akinyode-Afolabi

Dr Abiola Akinyode-Afolabi

Desirous to have a free and fair election, the National Association for Peaceful Elections in Nigeria (NAPEN) and Women Advocates Research and Documentary Centre (WARDC), have urged political parties and the electorate to embrace peace during and after the polls.

The NAPEN coordinator for Edo and Ondo States governorship elections, Dr Abiola Akinyode-Afolabi, made the call yesterday at a stakeholders meeting on prevention and mitigation of electoral violence.

She said the high level of violence in past elections in the country is unprecedented and therefore urged all stakeholders to shun all forms of violence in the September and November elections.

Akiyode-Afolabi described the forthcoming Edo polls as a straight fight between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).The coordinator warned that the process of voting should not be compromised in any way by political parties or their supporters, adding that such perverted actions may throw the state into anarchy.

“Any act of electoral violence is an anathema to peaceful coexistence and militates against the consolidation of democracy. The political situation in Edo State before now has been filled with threats and violent incidents,” she said.

She expressed worry that “Even though the political atmosphere is becoming calm lately, we must be proactive in bringing about a credible and violence-free election come Saturday 10 September.”

According to her, the observed threats are early warning signs of electoral violence, hence there is need for proper and adequate awareness on the associated danger.She restated: “The history of elections in the country is replete with electoral malpractices and irregularities, from the party primary to the general election,” which justifies the need for enlightenment of all.