As the general elections in Nigeria slowly emerges, there has been numerous concerns about the state of security in the country. Considering that Nigeria’s social, political and economic status quos have been ravaged by overt corruption and instability over the last years, the impending general election have become a very important factor in the demand for major changes in the current dilapidated situations. The impending general election, unlike the previous ones has been tipped to have a massive participation, as Nigerians aim to air their grievances and demand socioeconomic developments through the polls. As a result, there have been numerous debates in regards to the best candidate to salvage the situation.
In light of the impending election, Amnesty International, known to be a global watchdog, have urged the federal government to ensure a transparent and fair election process, free against electioneering violence in the forthcoming presidential and National Assembly elections which is scheduled to take place on February 25th. Also, the federal government has been tasked to ensure that measures are put in place to prevent the violation of human rights and ensure the protection of all the electoral participants.
Patterns of gender-based violence to intimidate women and girls evident.
A global rights group, via a signed statement signed and released by Isa Sanusi, the Media Manager of Amnesty International, urged the political parties, security agencies, interest groups and politicians to resist any attempt at engaging in violence or incitement that could deny people from enacting their human rights. He quoted the Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, who criticized the desperate attempts by political actors at enacting incitements and attacks, adding that the failure at bringing past criminals to Justice have further emboldened others.
She also indicated that there were patterns of gender-based violence such as threatening women and girls with rape, in a bid to intimidate them into doing their biddings. In censuring this vile act, Osai Ojigho stated that the security operatives must uphold their obligations in curbing these incitements and abuse of human rights. She recounted the gruesome murder of Victoria Chimtex, the Labour Party leader in Kaura Local Government, Kaduna State, as well as the murder of APC’s Olumo Abolaji, who was kidnapped and killed in Kwara State. She however urged security operatives to be immensely at alert in tackling insecurity during the election period.
Violence in the south-east to impact human rights situation.
Osai again commented on the deteriorating security situation in the south-east region. She stated that the violent situation was really worrying with a huge tendency of impacting the general human right situation before, during and after the general elections. She pointed that there were received reports of political supporters violently targeting political opponents. She said that the security agencies must stamp out any potential threat by these perpetrators by adequately investigating these incidents and bringing them to justice.
Amnesty International also encouraged security operatives to ensure the safety of journalists, local and international electioneering observers and stakeholders m, so as for them to perform their duties without any fear of violence or intimidation. The global rights group promised to properly keep track of the election and document detection of human rights violations, in a bid to help bring the perpetrators were held accountable and brought to justice, regardless of who they were accused or what status they may hold.
Stakeholders urged to commit to protecting human rights in the country.
In this statement, victims would be ensured access to to justice and effective remedies. Osai Ojigho noted that there was going to be zero tolerance for any form of human rights violation and as such, encouraged the Nigerian government, civil groups, political parties and candidates to immediately censure intimidation, hatred and incitement for the forthcoming election. She further stated that stakeholders must now work together to enhance human rights, committing to its protection and promotion in the country.
Amnesty International: Website