Electoral violence: NGO urges security agencies on arms mop-up

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By Our Correspondent in Lokoja

An international NGO, Search for Common Ground (SFCG), has called on security agencies in the country to intensify effort mopping up firearms in the hands of political thugs and unauthorised persons.

Mrs Lola Mamedu, Early Warning Coordinator, Search, made the call at the monthly Stakeholders Conflict Scan Analysis on Post-Election Violence in Kogi in Lokoja.

She said the effort would stem the increasing post-election crime wave.

Mamedu said that weeks and months after the November 16, 2019 Governorship Election, the rate of post-election violence being recorded in the Kogi had assumed frightening dimension.

She alsonoted that the high rate of proliferation of firearms in the state as a result of the election might have informed the increased rate of kidnapping, crime rate, killings and destruction of properties.

The Coordinator hinted that Search was still observing post-election phase violence in the 21 LGAs in the state, adding that the organisation’s observers were tracking conflict indicators, violent intents and hate speech.

Mamedu said the ultimate goal of the early warning system was to facilitate early response by stakeholders with the ability to prevent violence after the elections.

Duaglobalnews reports that stakeholders at the meeting also called on security agencies to reinforce internal security, patrol and surveillance toward mopping up arms in wrong hands.

They decried the “Winner takes all” syndrome amongst politicians and advocated post-election engagements between winners and losers, to find a common ground for reconciliation and participation in governance.

According to the stakeholders, the post-election engagement will also help the aggrieved stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogue, to assuage pains and resolve emerging conflicts and political violence.

They also called on security agencies to apprehend and prosecute the big names sponsoring electoral violence and their thugs, to serve as a detterent to others.

The stakeholders the graced the meeting include representatives of the Police, National Security and Civil Defect Corps (NSCDC), DSS, NOA, INEC, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Media and Youth groups.

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