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CSO: We’ll demand visa ban on perpetrators of violence in Ondo poll

CSO: We’ll demand visa ban on perpetrators of violence in Ondo poll
October 09
18:17 2020

The Center for Liberty (CFL), a civil society organisation, says it will demand a visa ban on anyone who disrupts the governorship election in Ondo.

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The group gave the warning in a statement signed by Ariyo-Dare Atoye and Adebayo Raphael, its conveners, on Friday.

CFL said it is optimistic that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will deliver a credible election.

It asked political parties, governorship candidates and their supporters to remain peaceful and avoid acts that will undermine the voting process.

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“Despite the unfortunate occurrences of violence ahead of the polls, and during pre-election campaigns, we are optimistic that security agencies will live up to their responsibility on election day by protecting the permanent and ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and ensuring free, fair, credible and peaceful elections,” the CSO said.

“However, as the governorship candidates participating in the Ondo Decides are made to sign a peace accord and commit to a violence-free election, we wish to remind them to abide by this agreement as there is no alternative to a credible election in a democracy.

“It has been made clear by our foreign partners, that any attempt to undermine the credibility of the electoral process shall attract international sanctions, and as an organization, we shall not hesitate to demand for Visa ban against any erring official or personality.

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“It is part of the mandate of our organization Centre for Liberty (CFL), during this election, to evaluate the conduct of political parties, their candidates and supporters, security agencies and other electoral stakeholders.”

The group commended the Abdulsalami Abubakar-led national peace committee for its effort in enhancing peaceful election.

It asked the committee to intensify efforts in achieving electoral reforms that will institutionalise its peace framework.

“Meanwhile, we wish to appreciate the enormous contribution of the Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee in continuing to galvanize peace initiatives before and during our elections, as well as in committing all the stakeholders to electoral stability,” it said.

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“While the peace initiative of the NPC is laudable, we however, wish to encourage the group to equally commit to an enduring electoral reforms that will institutionalize their peace framework, and guarantee free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.”

The US had imposed visa restrictions on some individuals for their actions during the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.

The UK had also threatened to impose visa ban — among other sanctions — on persons involved in electoral violence in Nigeria.

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