The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), has called on the Nigerian Government, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Security agencies, and the media to play effective roles to ensure the forthcoming general election is free, fair, and credible.
CAPPA made the call during the media presentation of the report tagged: ‘2023 General Elections – Challenges and Threats to Consolidating Democracy.’
The report recommended that the government should utilize the few days before the elections to ramp up measures to flush out violent groups and secure all locations affected by insecurity while deploying adequate security for the smooth conduct of the general election.
Akinbode Oluwafemi, the Executive Director of CAPPA while delivering his remarks at the event shared that the report is informed by recent developments in the political space and the sense of apathy and hope that continues to grow as the 2023 General elections approach.
Oluwafemi said “many Nigerians feel the existing challenges may impede a credible general election. This report, therefore, interrogates the various concerns, including logistical and administrative difficulties faced by INEC, and attacks on its facilities, the lingering fuel and cash scarcity, rising security challenges in the polity, the spread of misinformation and fake news, the manifestations of voter suppression, and likelihood of social unrest.”
He thereafter charged the electoral umpire to “work with community watchpersons and security agencies to deploy technology including drones to electronically track in real time the movement of all vehicles and boats used in conveying electoral personnel and materials to prevent their hijacking and diversion.
“To put in place mechanisms for swift countermeasures to prevent bypassing and hacking of the BVAS and IREV platforms. Where necessary, it should leverage international support for this purpose.”
The security operatives were also tasked to work in collaboration with the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) “to identify persons of interest based on credible intelligence and ensure they are subjected to lawful surveillance during the electioneering period provided a court order authorizing such is secured.”
Oluwafemi stressed that “violence often starts with allegations of bias, hence the INEC, the police and other security agencies must maintain utmost impartiality in the course of discharging their duties.
The CAPPA ED also charged the Media and Civil Society organizations to work together to monitor and dispel election-related fake news, and “to intensify sensitization and awareness programmes aimed at empowering voters with information on peacebuilding during elections, and the latest developments as regard electioneering processes in Nigeria in order to help them make informed decisions.”