From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Search for Common Ground, (SFCG), a non-governmental organisation has decried high rate of political killings in some parts of Kogi state as the governorship election is around the corner with concluded arrangement to deploy 21 observers to checkmate the trend and ensure hitch free polls.
The Early Warning Coordinator, Mrs Omolola Mamedu who raised the alarm in Lokoja during the Monthly Stakeholder’s Conflict Scan Analysis on Electoral Violence in Kogi State, said the 21 observers will be deployed to the 21 local government councils of the state to monitor the election.
She pointed out that they have been selected and trained to observe and report to an existing database platform on early warning signs and conflict indicators.
Mamedu said these reports cover areas of election related violence, identify potential threats to peaceful election at the pre-and post-election stages in order to facilitate an early response by stakeholders like the Police force, INEC, NOA with the aim of intervening to prevent violence.
She also noted that search early warning observers have reported cases of violence, physical attacks between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“Series of attacks have been recorded during campaign rallies and party activities. Dekina and Ankpa local government councils has recorded the highest number of violent attack among party members and supporters .
” On the 19 of October, 2019, a party supporter was allegedly shot dead in Ayingba during one of the political party rallies. The number of deaths recorded in Ayingba and Ankpa communities is quite alarming. There has been a rise in the use of political thugs to perpetrate violence, as this was recorded in Dekina, Ankpa, Olamoboro, Omala and Idah local government councils.
The programme is being funded by National Democratic Institute, (NDI), United States Agency for International Development, (USAID), and UKaid.