Written by on March 15, 2023

Ahead of the March 18 governorship election in Lagos State, the civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has tasked the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno to curb electoral violence in the state which it said has been identified as a flashpoint for political thugs and ethnic jingoist in the trade of flaming the embers of tribal sentiments to ignite disunity and violence.

HURIWA, in a statement on Wednesday by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, also condemned attacks on Igbo traders and their markets in Lagos because of their staunch support for Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi and the governorship candidate in the state, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.

The group maintained that all Nigerians regardless of their tribe or religion are constitutionally entitled to vote for whoever they choose and prefer in any election without being threatened, intimidated or harassed.

HURIWA said the National Security Adviser and security agencies especially the Nigeria Police Force have a duty to protect all voters and shield them from intimidation and attacks by aggressors and thugs as seen during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly polls where LP supporters were attacked in Lagos for voting Peter Obi who won in the state ruled by the All Progressives Congress.

The group also vowed to drag ethnic jingoists and those whipping tribal sentiments to frustrate Igbo traders in Lagos due to their choice of LP candidates to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands over crimes against humanity.

HURIWA’s Onwubiko said:

The political violence targeting non-indigenous Igbo traders residing in Lagos by political thugs is condemnable in all its entirety. No Nigerian deserves to be persecuted for their political choice or their preferred candidates.

The NSA and service chiefs should immediately direct their operatives to different all groups living in Lagos or elsewhere to forestall politically motivated attacks in the March 18 governorship poll.

Also, the political thugs arrested during the presidential poll in Lagos and other places must be immediately prosecuted and punished.

Political leaders and ethnic champions whipping tribalism to ignite violence will be reported to the ICC should they continue to threaten voters whom they want to compel to vote for their own candidate. Saturday election must be devoid of violence.”

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