Defence & Security

CSO asks INEC to lead presidential aspirants on protest over insecurity

By Paul Michael, Defence Editor

A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), the West African Action Network on Small Arms – Nigeria (WAANSA – NIGERIA) has called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, to mobilise all presidential aspirants of political parties for the 2023 general election on a one week protest against worsening insecurity in the country.

This was contained in a letter signed by WAANSA – NIGERIA President, Temitope Lamidi and Director of Media and Advocacy, Martins Igwe, which was obtained by The Trumpet.

According to the CSO, the protest should be part of activities to mark this year’s Global week of Action against Gun Violence scheduled for 1st June – 8th June 2022.

The letter reads, “We will not be doing justice to Nigeria and Nigerians, if we refuse to advise your office that is working day and night to ensure that 2023 general election is a thing of reality. United Nations International Children’s emergency fund confirmed that over 1000 students were abducted since 2020. 200 are still in captivity.

“Professor Osibanjo’s class mate, son of Northern Elders Forum and Sixty two others are still in captivity, this may not include Chibok, Dapchi, Kaduna and Kebbi abductions. This remains a sad reality which demands for urgent attention as you mobilize for a peaceful elections.

“We advise strongly on the need to liase with the Inter-Agency consultative committee on election security to lead all Presidential aspirants to an intensive one week of protest and constructive engagement with our security agencies until Nigerians who are victims of gun violence all over the country are released.

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“It will serve as a reassurance that they have the political will to overcome national challenges and a palpable move by INEC leadership to peace.”

WAANSA – NIGERIA described the state of insecurity in the country as a sad reality which demands urgent attention, and noted that there must be a guarantee of peace before INEC sends 1.5million proposed Adhoc staff to the 176,846 polling units across the country.

“Presently, the continuous voters registrations exercise is not taking place in some frontline local governments with heightened insecurity while in others It is restricted in local Government and state offices. The victims of gun violence presently in captivity and internally displaced centers can determine the faith of a presidential candidate hence the urgent need to join this protest in solidarity to 2022 Global week of action against gun violence.

“There must be a guarantee of peace in our local communities before sending your proposed 1.5million Adhoc staff at 176,846 polling units. Presidential aspirants will compliment the sacrifice of our security Agencies and this will directly affect the turnout of elections come 2023.

“If you make yourself available, Nigerians will be happy to see Bola Tinubu, Rochas Okorocha, Atiku Abubakar, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, Rotimi Amaechi, Peter Obi, Yerima Bakura, etc, unite for this course before their campaigns

“As we mark the beginning of global week of Action Against Gun violence, led by international Action network on small arms and light weapons aimed at eliminating gun violence and misuse of small arms, we appeal to your office to do anything in line with the dictates of law to reassure Nigerians of a peaceful environment where they will exercise their franchise without threat to your staffs and general public,” the letter added.

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