All political parties guilty, says Senate Leader

Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi on Tuesday blamed the rising incidence of electoral violence in the country on all political parties.

Abdullahi who made this assertion while contributing to a motion “On Curbing Electoral Violence” moved on the floor of the Senate by the Senator representing Rivers East, George Sekibo.

Also in his contribution, Senator Jibrin Isah, representing Kogi East Senatorial District described a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) women leader in Kogi State, Salome Abuh, who was recently burnt to death in her home as a “victim of circumstances.”

Mrs Abuh, 60, was the PDP woman leader of Ochadamu Ward in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State before the unfortunate incident.

Abdullahi said the Minority Leader of Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe and himself would jointly sponsor a Bill to provide punishment for perpetrators of electoral violence in the country.

The Senate Leader said: “All of us politicians irrespective of the party, to which we belong, we should address and curb electoral violence, otherwise, we may also become victims.

“Me and the Minority Leader will come up with a bipartisan Bill to look at the punishment for electoral violence and see how we can raise a law in this chamber and also in the House of Representatives and prescribe a legal regime.

“That’s what is going to address it. Electoral violence, there should be no partisanship. All the politicians on all sides are guilty.

“Violence did not start when APC came into power. it started from the beginning then it got bad from 1999.”

On his part, Isah also known as Echocho said while he almost lost his life during the Kogi state governorship election, many citizens of the state are still in danger list due to electoral violence.

Isah said: “That woman (Salome) only happened to be a victim of circumstance.

“She was a very peace loving woman. The attack on her was a retaliatory attack. An attack was mounted on supporters of APC after Yahaya Bello was declared a winner of the election her area.

“Two people almost died, they are still on danger list in the hospital, arising from that attack.

“It was a retaliatory attack on PDP members and unfortunately, she became the victim. Very painful.

“Going forward, I want to believe there should be a Bill on election violence in Nigeria which will constitute various deterrent actions.

“A Bill that will address pre-election, during election and post election violence. I almost lost my life during the last election in Kogi state.

“Some people are still on danger list. Some persons died yesterday arising from the violence. I think the same also happened at various locations in Bayelsa state.”

Meanwhile, the Senate on Tuesday condemned the Killing of Mrs. Abuh and urged the Inspector General of Police to ensure the arrest and prosecution of all those involved in her murder.

This followed a similar motion sponsored by Senator Betty Apiafi, titled: “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.”

The Senate also observed a minute silence in honour of Mrs Abuh and condemned violence against female candidates in the just concluded Kogi State elections and all previous elections.

The upper chamber urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to carry out continued campaign against electoral violence in subsequent elections.

The upper chamber also commended stakeholders – both local and international – for the launch of the Sexual Offenders Register on the 25th of November 2019.

It equally urged States who are yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act (2003) and the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP 2015) to do so for the socio-economic development of their state and the nation at large.

Read the Original Article on The Nation

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