The CLEEN Foundation has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Electoral Bill 2022 into law to deepen the nation’s democracy.
The Executive Director of Cleen Foundation, Mr Gad Peter, gave the commendation on Tuesday in Abuja during a high-level policy dialogue tagged, ‘2023 General Elections: Insecurity as a Threat to Constitutional Succession’ organized by the foundation.
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Peter noted that Nigerian elections in the past have been characterized with violence ranging from ballot box snatching, rigging, vote buying and even outright killing by political thugs.
The Cleen Foundation boss said that, similarly, building up of 2023 general elections in the country has been greeted with alarming insecurity like banditry, kidnapping, proliferation of small arms and light weapons in some parts of the country.
He, however, commended President Buhari for assenting to the Electoral Bill, which allows for use of technical devices and electronic transmission of results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which have aided free, fair and violence-free elections in some states recently.
“With the new Electoral Law in Nigeria, electoral violence would reduce, considering various punishments awaiting electoral offenders as prescribed in the new law,” Peter said.
On his part, the chairman of the occasion and Professor of Criminology and Sociology of Law, Prof. Etannibi Alemika, noted that in the build-up of 2023 general elections, there were threats of banditry and terrorism in the Northern Nigeria, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in South East, Yoruba Nation agitations in the South West and militant groups in the South South.
He, however, suggested that security challenges can be mitigated by strategic intelligence gathering, tactical and operational plan while also recommending inter-agency collaboration among security agencies.
“Early mobilisation of funds for training and deployment of security personnel must be taken seriously,” he said while also cautioning against inflammatory statements or other untoward act ahead of the elections.
Also, the representatives of the Chief of Army Staff, Inspector General of Police, Director General of Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies, in separate remarks, assured Nigerians of free and fair and violence-free elections in 2023 saying that all security threats in the country are being under checked and controlled.