The Kimpact Development Initiative (KDI), a non-governmental organisation, has called on political parties and their candidates to focus on issue-based campaigns and not attack the personality of their fellow contestants.
Mr Bukola Idowu, Team Lead, KDI, made the call at first High-Level National Dialogue on Mitigating Electoral Violence ahead of the 2023 General Elections, in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event had in attendance representatives from the NOA, Civil Defence, DSS, among others.
He said that political candidates and their parties should desist from making inciteful messages, as their actions and inactions speaks a lot to the peaceful conduct of the elections.
“They need to go ahead with issue-based campaigns, not attack on personalities, they do not need to leave issues and get into personal attack with other candidates.
“They need to state what they want to do and let Nigerians decide.
“They don’t need to force people to vote for them and party agents also need to understand their boundaries.
“This is because most of the electoral violence starts from the activities of party agents and we want INEC and political parties should make sure these people are well trained so that they can understand their roles.
“We also expects security agencies to be neutral on the day of election and we believe with this, election violence will be curbed,” he said.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, represented by Basil Idegwu, said that the police is already working with other security agencies to ensure a harmonized deployment of personnel to volatile areas.
“The police have been making adequate preparation to ensure that the recurrent issues of electoral violence are put in check.
“We are also working with our intelligence assets to make sure that perpetrators of violence are put in check and possibly arrested to ensure that we have a peaceful election in this 2023,” he said.
Mr Santiago Stocker, Country Director, International Republican Institute (IRI) said it is important for the government to effectively address the issues of security and violence, for the country to have peaceful elections.
“It is therefore the responsibility of all the stakeholders that have invested in this election to change the incentive around electoral violence and electoral offenses.
“And to hold their own people accountable for their actions,” he said.(NAN)