By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
THE Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education, CHRICED, has asked the Federal Government to arrest and probe those who perpetrated various acts of electoral violence during the just-concluded general elections before it’s too late.
The civil society group insisted that prosecuting them and their backers would halt what it described as a ‘dangerous slide’ in the country’s democracy.
At a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, CHRICED’s Executive Director, Dr Zikirullahi Ibrahim, lamented that those who assaulted and threatened electors on both February 25 and March 18 election days were still at walking scot-free.
He, therefore, warned that should the authorities fail to take action against the perpetrators of all the criminal acts, which were committed on the election days, citizens would take action in the forms of sending petitions to national and international bodies, especially where perpetrators of such acts have been properly identified.
He said, “Given the climate of fear, anxiety and uncertainty, which now pervades our country, there can be no mistaken the fact that all is not well.
“From the discontent in the polity, to the worries posed by an economy in tatters, the Nigerian people are having it rough in the hands of the current ruling elite.
“CHRICED believe strongly that it is not yet too late to investigate, apprehend, and prosecute the brigands and their backers for the crime of violently subverting the vote of the Nigerian people.
“We are of the opinion that even if only one Nigerian is violently denied the right to exercise his/her right to vote, the Nigerian State owes that citizen the duty to ensure that the perpetrators of those acts of violent suppression of the vote are held accountable and brought to justice.
“Sadly, as we speak, the gang of criminals and thugs who assaulted and threatened electors on Election Day are still at walking scot-free.
“Therefore, in the face of the blatant refusal of the State to take action against the perpetrators of all the criminal acts, which were committed on Election Day, CHRICED calls on citizens to take action in the forms of sending petitions to national and international bodies, especially where perpetrators of such acts have been properly identified.”
CHRICED also decried the current state of the nation’s economy, saying that it serves only a few political and economic elites.
“But, as things stand, the nation is veering dangerously off course, and the ship of state is stranded in stormy waters.
“The teeming masses of this country continue to groan under the weight of bad governance and ‘voodoo’ economic policies,” Ibrahim noted.
He, nevertheless, called on the people not to lose hope, but to remain steadfast in using all legal and peaceful methods available to call out the government and hold it to account.
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