A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Monday, at a lecture did not just speak about bribe-demanding and taking federal lawmakers, he also identified some potential threats to the 2019 general elections to include violence, hate speech, delay in the passage of the framework for the election and conduct of security agents.
On violence, the former INEC boss said happenings during recent primaries of political parties were pointers to the danger lurking around ahead of the general elections.
He said if members of the same political party could not organise violence-free internal elections, there was no way they would contest against candidates of other political parties during the general elections without resorting to violence.
Jega added, “The first thing to consider is electoral violence and there is no better way to address this than what happened in the recent party congresses and its potential danger.
“If political parties cannot organise their internal elections peacefully, how can they engage the other parties with civility in the general elections?
“It is very important that this is addressed because if there is crisis in the elections, some of these issues are outside the scope of the electoral commission, but in the end, it is the electoral commission that gets blamed.
“It is important that we improve our systemic mechanisms of addressing violence and conflicts related to elections and in particular improving the scope of internal democracy within political parties.“
Jega expressed concern over recent spate of hate speech among political actors, opinion, religious and political leaders.
He said such unbridled utterances facilitated electoral violence during general elections.
The former INEC boss said the situation was capable of undermining the integrity of the 2019 elections if not properly tamed based on the rule of law.
He urged more patriotic and democratic Nigerians to speak against hate speech, adding that government should put its mechanisms in place to identify and prosecute those who constituted nuisance.