By Jubril Bada
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, stakeholders have suggested how to better protect the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) employees, assets and voters during the elections.
The solutions, they said would prevent reoccurrence of electoral violence against electoral stakeholders and attack on the commission’s offices before, during and after election in the country.
In separate interviews with The Hope, they suggested the need to set up violence tribunal that will specialize on the prosecution of whoever found culpable of electoral violence or attack on the commission’s personnel and its assets.
The stakeholders who spoke with our reporter include politicians, security operatives and academicians.
The Ondo State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Hammed Abodurin, said there was the need to strengthen the security sector of the country in order to enhance the protection of lives and property against electoral violence.
Abodurin, who noted sensitization of public on the importance of election as part of solutions to electoral violence in the country said the corps was building community resilience to interact with people on many alternatives to violence.
This, he said include public campaigns and handling of several civil cases using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
“More importantly, those who are radical to say no to election needs to be further educated on the implications of what they are doing.
“You are killing the people you say you love? I think something is wrong somewhere and there’s the need for all of us to fix it” he said
The Commandant added that anyone caught and found culpable of electoral violence, attack against INEC’s personnel , assets or voters should be prosecuted.
The former Acting Provost of the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, Professor Emmanuel Moyinjesu, said for the country to be devoid of political thuggery in every election, suggested the need to set up violence tribunal to tackle the political menace.
He explained that when violence tribunal is in place, will address political thuggery and make the country stable politically.
Moyinjesu added that the electoral violence and other inimical acts against election will be handled by violence tribunal like election tribunal which deals with the issue of falsification of election results.
On his part, former State Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Chief Alamurin Ogunbodede, called on the Federal Government to rise up to its responsibility in providing security operatives at every polling unit during election to prevent violence.
He also suggested the need for the Federal Government to engage the service of military men to support other security operatives in the 2023 general elections.
The former chairman urged the INEC to make the best use of Electoral Act to tame violence during election by prosecuting electoral offenders.
He advised the electoral body to devise strategies to protect its offices, assets and personnel ahead of the next year general elections.