With less than a week to the gubernatorial elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo states, the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, has called on President Bola Tinubu to as a matter of priority put machinery in place to forestall any form of violence during the exercise.
The call was made by Executive Director of the CLO, Comrade Steve Aluko, who noted that the level of violence in Kogi State ahead of the election is frightening.
He said everything possible should be done to avoid a repeat of the killings and destruction of properties in the state during the 2019 election.
According to Aluko, Bayelsa and Imo states should also be properly monitored to ensure a violence-free election.
According to him, the recent reports from both states are also not encouraging.
“We welcome the promise of President Bola Tinubu, the military as well as the police to pursue a violence election in Kogi and the other states.
“But we wish to state that this is not the first of it kind since 1999. Such promise has in many cases remain a verbal talk lacking the bite it deserved.
“The 2019 violence during the re-election of Governor Yahaya Bello in Kogi where many were killed, properties destroyed and highest magnitude of intolerance, intimidation of voters, opposition, abuse of power, among others is still not forgotten.
“So, President Tinubu should ensure effective and timely deployment, supervision and appropriate sanctions and denouncement of all electoral malpractices of political parties, candidates and inordinate acts of security agencies and INEC before, during and after after the election.
“Rather than wait to shed ‘crocodile tears’ or abysmal condemnation of political violence, the best time to act is now.
“The presidency must act better than mere words. It should also set up machinery that will ensure electoral justice which will guarantee credible, free, fair and violence free election in Kogi State and Nigeria as a whole,” he said.
He pointed out that the utmost and primary test before the President, security agencies and INEC is to prove to the world that Nigeria can have a positive narrative of electoral fairness and justice.