Governorship elections: NGO calls for secure environment for voters

Governorship elections: NGO calls for secure environment for voters

- Ahead of the March 9 governorship elections, the Youngstars Development Initiative has called for a secure environment for voters

- The organisation also added its voice to the growing call for the arrest and prosecution of all perpetrators of violence in the just-concluded presidential and National Assembly elections

- YDI urged all security agencies to rise to their responsibility of providing a safe environment for the electorate on March 9

The Youngstars Development Initiative (YDI) has called for a secure environment for voters in the March 9 governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections across the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that area council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will also hold on the same day.

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Legit.ng gathers that YDI, a pan-African youth non-governmental organisation, made the call in a statement by its executive director, Kingsley Bangwell, in Abuja on Wednesday, February 27.

The organisation also added its voice to the growing call for the arrest and prosecution of all perpetrators of violence in the just-concluded elections.

The Situation Room, a coalition of 70 civil rights organisations, said in a report that 16 persons died in election-related violence during the February 23 polls.

As at the time of filing this report, the official death figures had not been released by the police, but the force said they had arrested 128 offenders.

The YDI call came amid a promise by President Muhammadu Buhari that security agencies “will bring to justice all those arrested in the process’’.

In a statement on Wednesday morning shortly after his declaration as winner of the presidential election, Buhari said he was “very sad at the grievous loss of lives”.

“Security agencies will step up their efforts to protect voters in the forthcoming state elections,’’ the president said.

Describing election-related violence as a threat to the nation’s democracy, YDI stated that the menace should not be allowed to continue unchecked.

“Election violence has many negative consequences on our electoral process and the nation at large.

“Among other fall-outs, it claims innocent lives, disrupts the electoral process, weakens democratic culture, fosters voter apathy and impacts negatively on the economy.

“It is for these reasons and many more that we cannot continue to allow the menace of electoral violence to continue unchallenged.

“We, therefore, call on all security agencies to rise to be alive to their responsibility of providing a safe environment for the electorate during the March 9 elections,’’ it said.

YDI reaffirmed its commitment to the promotion of peaceful elections through the “Vote Not Fight: Election No Be War’’ campaign, which it executes in partnership with the 2Baba Foundation.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the head of the Commonwealth Observer Group, Dr Jakaya Kikwete, called for the prosecution of perpetrators of election related violence in the recently held presidential and National Assembly elections.

In the group’s interim statement presented in Abuja on Monday, February 24, Kikwete, former president of Tanzania, said that those found liable should be prosecuted.

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Source: Legit.ng

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