Foremost gender advocacy group, the Nigerian Feminist Forum (NFF), has called on people in Anambra State to troop out on Saturday to elect a new Governor, but must desist from any form of violence.
NFF made the call on Friday via a statement signed by its Communications Officer, Angela Nkwo.
The group called on the Federal Government to ensure the safety of all Nigerian women and girls in Anambra State, as well as of every other person involved in exercising their democratic rights.
The NFF also called on all eligible voters to shun apathy and exercise their franchise to elect their new Governor and stated that the votes must count.
According to it, all forms of electoral violence must be shunned even as they called for the prosecution of any perpetrator of electoral violence.
The NFF called on all security agencies to ensure the protection of lives and properties especially women and girls noting that they are the worst hit during violence.
The group advocated for the inclusion of women in the peace and security processes to quell the rising insecurity in the state, saying that “the Nigerian Feminist Forum has watched with keen interest the issues that have plagued out and calls for calm. It is evident that there is an urgent need to include women in the peace and security processes to quell the rising level of insecurity”.
It expressed concerns over the activities of some security operatives and called on them to conduct themselves with respect for human lives.
According to NFF, the Anambra gubernatorial election is “probably the first election with the highest form of anxiety and violence in the Southern part of Nigeria”.
It therefore, demanded for the protection of lives and properties during the poll, while maintaining that the build-up to the election was laced with “much violence, killings, and kidnapping which has provided Nigerians concerns over the safety of lives, properties and welfare of communities”.
While it condemned the bloodletting and mayhem unleashed in Anambra state, the NFF urged all the actors to allow the people express their franchise to choose who leads them for the next four years.
Meanwhile, the Forum condemned all forms of violence under any guise by security operatives in any part of the country, saying it was time to call them to order, “stop all forms of violence of Nigerian lives because women and girls we bear the brunt”.
The NFF is a biennial public policy forum that brings together self-identifying feminists, who through feminist principles challenge the system of power, promote the learning and teaching of feminist principles and universality of women’s rights.