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CDD Urges Voters to Shun Violence While Voting During the 2015 General Elections

By CDD West Africa
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Nigerians will be going to the polls on 28 March and 11 April for the 2015 general elections. The success of the elections will be a key factor in the consolidation of Nigeria's democracy. The competitive nature of elections in Nigeria and the high stakes across the country have created an unnecessary atmosphere of fear and anxiety.

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) welcomes the decision of the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba to allow voters to remain close to the polling booths until votes are counted and results released. CDD calls on all security agencies to be professional and neutral in the discharge of their duties during the elections.

CDD condemns the rising cases of hate speech, intimidation, harassment and incitement to violence. In this instance, CDD welcomes the recent statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda to prosecute “any person who incites or engages in acts of violence in the context of the upcoming elections or otherwise – including by ordering, inciting, encouraging or contributing to the commission of crimes that fall within ICC's jurisdiction.”

CDD applauds the joint statement issued by President Goodluck Jonathan and General Mohammadu Buhari on Thursday 26 March 2015 to restrain their supporters from engaging in acts of violence and to respect the outcome of free, fair and credible elections. CDD urges them to go a step further by addressing their supporters directly to refrain from all acts of violence before, during and after the elections.

CDD encourages Nigerians that have collected their PVCs to come out in mass to cast their votes. In addition, CDD admonishes youths to avoid all acts of violence and conduct themselves in a manner that ensures that at the end of the day, our dear country, Nigeria is the true winner of the 2015 general elections.

Idayat Hassan