By Emmanuel Elebeke & Ahiaba Maranatha, ABUJA:
A survey conducted by CLEEN Foundation has listed hate speech, drug abuse and biased security agents as potential threats to the 2019 general elections.
This was made known in a pilot study conducted recently by the Foundation partnership with the INEC Electoral Institute and the British government in twelve states drawn from the six geo-political zones of the country tagged: Election Security Threat Assessment of Nigeria: Twelve Focal States, in preparation for the forth coming off circle and 2019 general elections in the country.
Presenting the findings in Abuja, the lead consultant and a political science expert, Dr. Freedom Onuoha from department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said the study revealed that use of hate speech and indecent language by political actors has the potentials to trigger electoral violence in 2019 general elections if not well managed. From the response gathered, it was revealed that majority of respondents (84%) across the twelve focal states affirmed that hate speech is a potential trigger of electoral violence in the coming elections and should be guided against.
Another factor revealed from the study as a potential threat to the coming elections is security agents. According to Dr. Onuoha, inadequate deployment of security agents during the elections poses great danger to free and fair election in Nigeria.
Buttressing the point, the Lead Consultant noted that how security agents carry out their duties during elections could become potential source of electoral violence if not done with patriotism.
Similarly, the report also shows that the growing habit of hard drug consumption in Nigeria among youth is a major source of growing concern ahead of the general elections.