A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Initiative for Grassroot Advancement (INGRA), has said that the incident of gun shots that happened during the recent road rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lokoja town has further heightened the already tensed situation.
The Executive Director of the organisation, Mallam Hamza Aliyu, made this known in a statement issued on Thursday.
He said candidates in the forthcoming election must publicly declare their support for a violence free elections come 16th November 2019 and show that the Party and its structures are opposed to all forms of electoral violence.
The statement reads in part, “this election has a great significance not only to the electoral umpire but to Kogites considering the burning issues that arose from the 2015 elections. It brings to fore the urgent need for increased efforts at curbing violence in our electoral process.
“There has been considerable efforts by several stakeholders including many civil society organizations on the need for the political parties to eschew violence and promote peaceful campaigns before and leading up to the Election Day.
“Investigations show that this was the actions of an overzealous security personnel in the entourage of the rally organizers. This act had immediate repercussions as it further strengthened the perception that this elections were going to be violent and that the ruling political party was the major perpetuator.
“Investigations have, however, shown that this was not a planned incident but rather the action of a single individual who out of zeal to impress his employers decided to endanger the lives of not only the rally organizers but that of the immediate community around him.
“We call on the APC to immediately investigate the remote and immediate cause of the incident and ensure that the said individual is sanctioned. They must also publicly declare the support for a violence free elections come 16th November 2019 and show that the party and its structures are opposed to all forms of electoral violence.
“We also call on the party candidate in the November 16th 2019 election, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello and his running mate Chief Edward Onoja, to take the opportunity and douse the tension in the polity by coming out to condemn the actions of this individual and pledge their individual and party support for a violence free elections.
“We also call on the youths and our communities to all rise up with a unified voice to request for a violence free, issued based campaigns in this all important election.”