Ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, Amnesty International has asked the Federal Government to prevent violence and uphold human rights.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the group’s Country Director, Osai Ojigho, said the move is necessary over what it describes as disturbing signs of violence, a month to the exercise.
Amnesty International said it has received “disturbing reports of violence by the political class and the unfortunate use of young people to perpetuate these reprehensible acts.”
“Government must protect people from violence and ensure the full respect for freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association before, during and after the state’s upcoming gubernatorial election and subsequent elections in other states of the federation,” the statement partly read.
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Ojigho also called on political parties and their candidates to “publicly condemn any advocacy of hatred or incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”
“The authorities must put measures in place to ensure politicians and their supporters do not infringe on human rights. They must announce clearly that there is zero-tolerance for human rights violations and that anyone suspected of wrongdoing will be brought to justice,” Ojigho said.
“The authorities must also ensure that journalists, international and national civil society groups and agencies that will monitor the elections are able to do so in safety.”
“Fueling the instability and impunity in the state, are reports of supporters of some politicians violently targeting political opponents, real or perceived.
“The authorities must stamp out any potential impunity by ensuring these incidents are investigated and those suspected to be responsible, brought to justice.”