Senate to tackle electoral violence with a Bill to address election & post-election violence
The Senate is set tackle electoral violence and come up with a Bill to address election and post-election violence in the country.
This was after Senator George Sekibo cited Orders 42 & 52 and moved a motion on public electoral violence during plenary on Tuesday.
The lawmakers condemned the spate of killings in the country and observed a minute silence in honour of those that lost their lives in the just concluded elections in Bayelsa and Kogi State.
According to the upper chamber, the proposed Bill if signed into law will prescribe severe punishments for perpetrators of violence during any election in the country.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan also during the plenary called on security agencies to bring to justice the killers of the PDP woman leader in Kogi, Mrs Achejuh Abuh. He urged politicians to promote election-free violence during any poll.
“This is a very important motion, no party is absolved from this and we should continue to enlighten our followers to see politics as a game of ideas, people should pay price for their actions,” Lawan said.
Senator Isah Jibrin in his contribution said, “I want to believe there is an urgent Bill that will address election violence in Nigeria. The way forward is that there should be sanctions that will serve as deterrent to election violence.”
Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, warned of dire consequences if the growing violence is not tamed. He said the law must be applied by security agencies in dealing with agents of violence during any election.
“We join them to condemn this electoral violence. People have been known to create violence and nothing has been done. What we should add is that the law enforcement agencies must be up to task.
“The husband of the woman that was killed in Kogi has identified those that committed the crime and they should be arrested. We will urge all legal instruments that can be used to be deployed to curb electoral violence,” Abaribe said.
Senator Abdullahi Yahaya added that “irrespective of the party we belong to, our responsibility is to prevent and curb electoral violence. The security agencies should put good measures and punish the perpetrators of electoral violence.”
The Senate intervention is coming amidst a nationwide outcry over the growing number of victims of election violence, particularly the recent cases in Kogi and Bayelsa States during the 16th November gubernatorial polls.
The lawmakers therefore urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and INEC to carry out electoral violence advocacy campaigns in subsequent elections.
They also urged security agencies to apprehend perpetrators of the violence.