Ahead of the Anambra Gubernatorial elections, Kimpact Development Initiative (KDI) has emphasised on the need for Civil Society Groups to set up initiatives that will restore public interest in the electoral process to ensure more robust participation in the election.
KDI also called for collaborative efforts among relevant stakeholders to strategize on ways to avert any form of violence across the various stages of the electoral process.
KDI made the call during a presentation of its Election Security Risk Analysis (ESRA) for Anambra State, which is scheduled to hold in November 2021.
Executive Director, KDI , Bukola Idowu, explained that the risk analysis was necessary for, “active players such as the country’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies, political parties and their candidates, the electorates and members of the public to prepare and put in place adequate plans for the election.”
Mr, Idowu also explained that , “Anambra State and virtually all the states in the Southeast of the country over the last six months have witnessed series of violent attacks by unknown gunmen going after and destroying offices of INEC, burning police stations and letting lose prisoners.
“According to research conducted by KDI, out of the 441 cases of violence recorded in the southeast, about 113 cases occurred in Anambra state. To this, 84 percent of the total respondents believe the state ahead of the election is not secured.
“Reasons for the violence as indicated by the respondents according to the organisation were mainly youths’ unemployment, youths restiveness, poverty and police brutality, agitation for self-determination among others.”
He also noted that, “out of the 700 respondents 419 indicated there is a possibility that violence will disrupt the election scheduled for November. Consequently, about 84 percent of the respondents express fear of going to the polling units to cast their vote.”
The KDI’s ED thereafter recommended that, “INEC, media organisations, Civil Society Organizations, CSOs and relevant stakeholders need to carry out effective programmes aimed at reorientating, educating voters on the importance of the ongoing voters’ registration looking of the limited number of days the state has for registration before the election.
“CSOs need to creatively come up with initiatives that will restore public interest in the electoral process to ensure more robust participation in the election.
“All state security agencies in the state should be empowered to secure the electoral process in the state.
“All key stakeholders including security agencies, community leaders, religious leaders, and political parties should be engaged in peaceful dialogue to ensure that all forms of violence are mitigated and deploy initiatives that reinforce sustained peace with the state before, during and after the governorship election.”
Culled from Map News