A pan-women-political organisation under the aegis of Women In Politics Forum on Wednesday called on security agencies to prioritise the protection of lives and properties in the election.
They warned that security personnel should not use their position to intimidate voters.
The President of WIPF, Ebere Ifendu, during a press conference in Abuja, said they were going to monitor the election in eleven states and had deployed 100 observers.
She also said that in partnership with the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, women and other Nigerians should make use of the N-Alerts app which was recently launched to report electoral malpractices and human rights abuses.
Ifendu said, “WIPF will be deploying 100 election observers in 11 states in the 2023 general election in Nigeria. Our foot soldiers will be in Abia, Adamawa, Benue, Cross River, Kogi, Kaduna, Kwara, Nasarawa, Plateau, Sokoto and the FCT.
“To ensure the safety of Nigerians at the 2023 polls, we urge all civil society organizations deploying observers to make use of the N-Alerts as part of the measures to combat violence against women in the forthcoming elections.
“We call on all security agencies to prioritize the protection of lives and properties. We urge security agencies not to use their position to intimidate the electorate but use the position to support electorates to have a seamless election day experience.
“We call on the Independent National Electoral Commission to strictly adhere to the provisions contained in the electoral act for a free, fair, and credible 2023 General Election. We urge INEC to ensure that ad-hoc staff are treated fairly, to carry out their role effectively and efficiently.
“We call on all observers to obey the guidelines and provisions for election observation. Observers should observe and report, remembering that intervening is not part of their roles on election day.
“We call on all political parties to ensure that all their agents on election day obey the guidelines and provisions on election day, and information and reports that will provoke the populace to violence, chaos, and conflict should be avoided completely.”
She also called on all Nigerian citizens who are eligible to vote to come out and vote peacefully and protect their vote.
Speaking further, she urged political parties to activate structures that give women the opportunity to assume decision-making positions within the political party structure other than the Woman Leader and Welfare positions.
“Violence Against Women has increased significantly especially in politics during this electioneering cycle. Women have experienced different forms of violence ranging from sexual harassment, bullying, blackmail, and even murder”, Ifendu said.