2023: NGO lunches e-platform to tackle electoral violence
The Webfala Digital Skills For All Initiative, an NGO, has launched an e-platform codenamed ‘NextElection’, to help prevent pre/post electoral violence in Nigeria.
The e-platform was officially launched in Ilorin on Wednesday at a Stakeholders Engagement organised by Webfala to address electoral violence in the country.
The Executive Director of the organisation, Mrs Nafisat Bakare, described electoral violence as destructive, unfortunate and breakdown of law and order that should not be allowed to stand in Nigeria’s electoral process.
According to her, violence has always been a recurrent feature in Nigeria’s electoral process which requires urgent technological response to prevent it.
She said the platform can be used to report and track incidences of violence before, during and after election.
“As part of effort to build peace and ensure security during elections, we are today launching our e-platform.
“As active participants in the digital space, we believe technology can be used to fight violence during elections.
“NextElection is a platform designed to provide real time information, violence during elections using technology and data to support violence monitoring and mitigation efforts,” she said.
Bakare, however, advised the public to log on www.nextelection.ng to report incidences of electoral related violence in their respective communities.
The executive director assured that the organisation would embark on media advocacy to sensitise the public on how to make use of the platform and also educate them on dangers of electoral violence.
She tasked political actors and stakeholders in the country to be guided in their utterances and be committed to save Nigeria from election violence.
“Desist from hate speech, ungarded utterances, fake news, irresponsible actions that can instigate violonce in the country,” she urged.
She also called on the government to punish violators of electoral laws and processes rather than handling them with levity.
The Kwara Resident Electoral Commissioner, Malam Attairu Madami, commended Webfala for their initiative towards ensuring end to pre- and post-election violence in the country via technology.
Madami, who was represented by Mr Adamu Musa, the Head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC Kwara, called for collective efforts to achieve free and fair election in the 2023 general election.
Madami also solicited for cooperation from security agencies, journalists, traditional rulers, political actors and members of the public to achieve rancour-free polls.
“All hands must be on deck. INEC is ready to discharge and conduct the most transparent election in the history of Nigeria.
“We are working towards that. We also commend Webfala for coming up with this initiative. Technology is key to successful election,” he noted.
He however called on security agencies to be ready to discharge their duties effectively without fear or favour.
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kwara Council, Mr Abdulateef Ahmed, called for adequate deployment of security personnel with active tools to prevent election violence.
Ahmed also tasked journalists to discharge their duty objectively and desist from reporting fake news during the election.
“We are all stakeholders and must wake up to save Nigeria from evil doers. Be you security personnel, be you journalist, be you religious leaders, be you political party leader or youth leader. Everybody is a leader in his own right to rescue Nigeria,” he said.
The theme of the event was “2023: Deploying Technology and Data to Report and Combat Electoral Violence”.
Representatives of all security agencies in the state attended the evemt along with other stakeholders from different agencies and ministries.