A Coalition of 25 Civil Society Organisations have called on security agencies to caution political parties against activities that could plunge states into serious crisis, ahead of the off-season governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states.
The Civil Society Organisations, in a communique issued after a three-day election preview on the three states, specifically singled out the Social Democratic Party’s slant of activities in Kogi State as an example of what security agencies must caution stakeholders against.
According to them, the wild allegations and ethnic profiling which have become the hallmark of the SDP’s campaign in Kogi State, “are capable of compromising the peace and security of the electorate, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, election observers and other candidates in the state.”
The CSOs said they came to this conclusion after painstakingly monitoring campaign strategies of various political parties participating in the November 11 gubernatorial elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo States.
They pointed out that it was necessary to nip these activities in the bud to forestall possible security breaches and utterances that may provoke ethnic disaffection and electoral violence during the off-season polls.
The communique was signed by the Director of Research and Data Analysis of the coalition, Dr. Jaiyeola Isiaka, and jointly presented to the media, in Abuja on Thursday.
“The State’s Police Commissioner recently had reason to caution the same SDP candidate as published by many media platforms not to drag him into the politics of the wild allegations he has been making which have the potential to overheat the state prior to the election,” the coalition said.
On how Bayelsa and Imo States have been faring since their campaign activities began, the communique said, “In Bayelsa State, the signs of security concerns are already surfacing but not so serious. The tone of campaign language between the two leading candidates of the APC and PDP is becoming more accusatory and volatile. Security agencies must monitor the supporters of both leading candidates of APC and PDP in order to forestall any serious breakdown of law and order before, during and in the immediate aftermath of the election. Possibility and rate of violence is 35%.
“Imo State: This is the state that security agencies must pay serious attention to because of the seemingly worsening security situation in the state. The activities of the unknown gunmen are not helping matters at all.