Few days to the gubernatorial election in Osun, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has urged stakeholders to help prevent electoral violence to ensure a peaceful election.
Dr Akiyode Abiola, Executive Director of WARDC, made the plea in Osogbo on Tuesday while addressing newsmen during a town hall meeting by stakeholders on “Conflict Prevention and Peace Mediation’’.
The gubernatorial election in Osun is scheduled to hold on Sept 22.
According to Abiola, the meeting is to highlight the processes of mitigating electoral challenges and to also address the issue of vote-buying, which is considered as a crime.
She said: “Stakeholders will know the roles they can play to ensure that Osun election goes peacefully without any distraction in the electoral processes.
“I believe this town hall meeting will help people to identify some hotspots where electoral violence is prone and the need to create more awareness in such areas for peaceful election.
“We have a report which actually identified the hotspots after a thorough research and we are sending such reports to INEC.’’
The WARDC boss said that the report would help the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to know such areas and to also deploy adequate logistics and security to mitigate any form of electoral violence likely to surface.
Abiola noted that vote-buying would not help the electoral processes, saying that it would rather lead to brutal development.
“Vote-buying is a crime and every stakeholder must stand against such act which hindered development and also distracts the electoral processes.
“People need to vote according to their conscience rather than voting and be paid stipend, which would add no value to the processes,’’ she said
Mr Onitiju Kehinde, Chairman, Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) in Osun, appreciated the efforts of the WARDC toward ensuring that the Osun election goes peacefully without any electoral violence.
Kehinde urged the electorate to stay clear of any political party likely to use them as means of distracting the electoral processes.
He advised persons with disabilities to go out and cast their votes, saying that INEC should ensure that adequate logistics are provided to avoid any form of delay and electoral disturbances.
Kehinde, however, called on the stakeholders to use the meeting to further spread the news against electoral offences and vote-buying, “which is criminal and attracts jail term’’.
The town hall meeting was attended by government functionaries, media personnel, and security agencies, NGOs, among others. (NAN)
– Sept. 18, 2018 @ 12:55 GMT |