The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says it is partnering with relevant stakeholders to mitigate electoral violence in forth the coming general elections.
The agency’s Director-General, Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed, stated this at a stakeholder’s workshop on “Awareness, Preparedness and mitigation of electoral violence in Nigerian elections’’ organised by the agency on Wednesday in Jos.
He said that the partnership was imperative considering the prevalence of electoral violence during elections period in the country.
Ahmed who was represented by North- Central Zonal Coordinator, Mr Eugene Nyelong, said that such violence must be curtailed to allow genuine democracy to thrive.
“Our overall objective is to ensure that every eligible citizen exercise his/her franchise peacefully at forthcoming general elections,” he said.
He, however, said that there was the need for all stakeholders to put all hands-on deck to mitigate the recurrence of electoral violence’s in our electoral system.
“Based on the principles of early warning approach to disaster risk management, effective sensitisation is an important tool.
“There is no gain saying that the success or otherwise of the 2023 general elections do not only rest on the INEC but on every Nigerian,’’ he said.
Ahmed further stated that although political consciousness of the people has risen, it would be a serious risk to be off alert.
“We have to use every opportunity to sensitise, discourage violent activities and encourage peaceful, transparent and credible polls,” he said.
In his speech, the Director-General, Plateau Peace Building Agency, Mr Joseph Lengmang, said that the workshop would significantly reduce the scale of electoral violence in the country, especially in Plateau.
Lengmang said that advocacy, sensitisation and engagement of stakeholders would no doubt mitigate electoral violence.
“If the electoral process is transparent, people will have confidence in the electoral process and there will less violence.
“Anybody who is dissatisfied should follow the legal window to address the perceived injustice instead of taking laws into their hands,” he said.
The INEC Head of Voter Education in Plateau, Mr Michael Otokpa, said that the commission had adopted some methodologies strategies to prevent and manage electoral violence.
According to him, such strategies include regular stakeholders’ meetings, interactive sections, workshops and direct contact dialogue with security agencies.
“Also, INEC has identified principal political actors as well as the leadership of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) that represents all the registered political parties for regular interaction,” he said.
He assured the participants that INEC would continue to sensitise the people to electoral processes.