With just 44 days to go until the 2023 general election, the pro-democracy group Center for Democracy and Development has expressed concern about the growing state of insecurity across the country.
This was revealed in a statement signed by the organization’s executive director, Idayat Hassan, on Wednesday, where the group said that elements challenging the authority of the Nigerian state had continued waves of attacks, despite the directive of the President, Major General. Muhammadu Buhari (retired), tasking security agencies to secure volatile parts of the country.
Citing reports of attacks on government buildings and threats to attack voters who showed up at their polling stations on election day in the southeast, the disturbance of peace and order by Yoruba Nation agitators in the southwest and the recent kidnapping of 31 passengers at the train station in Igeben, South-South Edo state, the group said that no part of the country could be considered a safe haven, considering the state of security challenges in the country.
Idayat said the group had been monitoring the conflict situation in the country through the Nigerian Election Violence Tracker, in collaboration with the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, to shape political decisions in preparation for the 2023 general elections.
While the group called on voters to remain ready and determined to participate in the polls, they also called on the agencies tasked with securing the country to step up efforts and do more to make the entire electoral terrain safe.
Idayat said: “CDD, for several months, has been monitoring the conflict situation across the country to inform electoral stakeholders on possible mitigation strategies.
“Through the Nigeria Election Violence Tracker, CDD, in collaboration with the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, has been generating a wealth of data to shape political decisions in the buildup to the general election. of 2023. For the weeks of November 28 to December 12, the tracker documented the increase in violence against INEC facilities.
“In addition, CDD’s SWOT analysis of the 2023 elections published last year provided an overview of the scope of security challenges facing Nigeria as it heads into the elections.
“This investigation informs the CDD’s concern that the required level of law and order to support the smooth conduct of elections has not been achieved in various parts of the country.
“While CDD calls on Nigerian voters to remain ready and determined to vote, it is imperative to call on agencies tasked with securing the country to step up efforts and do more to ensure that the entire field election is safe for voters, candidates, elections. observers, media and poll workers”.
CDD also urged political stakeholders and presidential candidates to stop insulting and engage in issue-based campaigns so as not to harm the country’s nascent democracy, which is nearing its seventh general election.
“Ultimately, the job of ensuring a peaceful and rancor-free electoral process is not limited to security agencies.
“Political actors and stakeholders have a role to play and must do so by stopping swiftly resorting to violence, spreading fake news, inciting hate and making unmonitored statements capable of undermining public peace and harmony,” added the group.