A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Search for Common Ground Nigeria (SFCG), has urged stakeholders to address early signs of crisis and violence ahead of the Governorship election in Kogi.
Hajiya Fatima Madaki, SFCG Head of National Projects, made the appeal during a Dialogue with the stakeholders in Lokoja on Monday.
Madaki said what happened in Kogi in the past, when innocent lives were lost due to election violence and crises, should not be allowed to repeat itself.
“This is why we are calling on all the stakeholders in Kogi to wake up to all the early signs and warnings and address them squarely to prevent any such reoccurrence come Nov. 11.
“As an NGO, SFCG is working to end violent conflicts and build healthy, safe and just societies in Nigeria and 33 other countries around the world.
“This meeting is aimed at mitigating hate speech during electioneering campaigns and as well address issues of fake news, misinformation and disinformation that could effect the smooth conduct of the election,” she said.
Madaki said that the organisation was involved in the seven off-circle governorship elections in the country to ensure peace at all levels of the process.
“We have a joint initiative of strategic religious engagement that is being implemented in Plateau and Kaduna states with religious leaders to address issues around freedom of religion and beliefs.”
Earlier, SFCG Project Coordinator, Mr Perry Tukuwei, spoke on “Sustaining Electoral Engagements for Democracy Project”.
He said the NGO was primarily in the state to partner relevant stakeholders to ensure that the forthcoming election is rancour free.
“Our intervention will be in the areas of Election Conflict Dynamics and proffering solutions to them; issues of misinformation, hate speech and mitigation strategies,” he said.
Mr Tosin Adebayo, a consultant with the SFCG on Early Warning and Early Response Systems (EWER), urged the stakeholders to identify early warning signals of electoral violence or other malpractices and address them before November 11.
Adebayo said the SFCG had embarked on mapping of the state for coordinated action among stakeholders including security agencies, to identify and address triggers of conflicts before they metamorphose into electoral violence. (NAN)