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Only Abuja, 2 states safe for elections -CLEEN Foundation

CLEEN Foundation has said only Jigawa, Kano and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are safe and peaceful for the conduct of this year’s February 25…

CLEEN Foundation has said only Jigawa, Kano and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are safe and peaceful for the conduct of this year’s February 25 and March 11 general elections.

Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Mr. Gad Peter, said this while formally presenting the ‘2023 Election Security Threat Assessment’ in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said 13 states comprising Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Benue, Gombe, Bauchi, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba, Edo, Delta, Akwa Ibom and Abia are prone to violence and the remaining 21 states of the federation are currently engulfed in one form of violence or another.

According to him, the CLEEN commissioned researchers across the six geopolitical zones to examine the security situation in relation to the elections and make recommendations for the successful conduct of the elections. Some of the recommendations are critical towards minimizing the security threats for a more credible and violence-free elections.

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Peter said, “The frequent serious attacks on security agencies, installations and  infrastructure in recent months are highly worrisome and condemnable. The pattern of recent attacks on security facilities and INEC infrastructure is suggestive that they are facilitated by criminals who are bent on pushing the country off the cliff.

“The law enforcement agencies need to take measures to prevent further attacks to boost the confidence of voters before, during and after the general elections. It is important to note that as recorded by INEC the recent voter registration has recorded the largest number of voters registered in the history of our elections and we are afraid that resources might be wasted if criminal attacks, threats and intimidation through violence and hate speeches lead to voter apathy.

“CLEEN Foundation is worried over the unhealthy and divisive verbal attacks, hate speeches and criminal attacks on police, INEC offices, which if not firmly addressed may pose serious challenges to the elections, peaceful-coexistence and the unity of our beloved nation.”

He said the foundation employed the methodology of Election Violence Mitigation Tool (EVMT) of the Electoral Institute of INEC developed to track electoral risk factors with the potential of impacting negatively on the peaceful conduct of elections in Nigeria and to map out key electoral risk factors peculiar to each geopolitical zone.

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