As the voting hours get closer, the National Human Rights Commission has deployed over 800 Election Observers to monitor the general conduct of the 2023 Elections with specific focus on the conduct of the security personnel.
The Executive Secretary made this disclosure on the eve of the commencement of the general elections saying the commitment of security personnel to discharge their statutory mandates effectively before, during, and after the elections will determine the peaceful outcome of the elections.
It could be recalled that in preparation for the general election, the Commission embarked on several activities to ensure it delivers on its statutory mandate of promotion and protection of human rights in Nigeria.
For instance, the commission monitored PVC collection and access across the 36 states and FCT, collated and treated complaints on PVC access, monitored hate speeches and established hate speech register, conducted presidential and Gubernatorial town halls and held consultations with law enforcement and security agencies, educated the public to come out and exercise their franchise with the launch of the MOVE (mobilization of voters for election) project which was aimed at increasing citizen participation and integrating human rights principles into the electoral process.
The Commission also recently held a consultation with law enforcement personnel on their role in promoting voter access to participation in the 2023 general elections. At the forum, the NHRC Boss said “the Commission will not spare any effort in deploying its protective mandate in putting in place accountability platforms that will bring to justice any law enforcement or security agents who commit any violation of human rights in the course of election operations”.
Furthermore, less than 24 hours to the polls, the Commission launched a “2023 General Elections Human Rights Situation Room”, located at the Commission’s headquarters to work 24 hours for the purpose of receiving complaints of human rights violations including hate speech, vote buying, violations by security agencies, and gender-related violence and other human rights election related violations before, during and after the elections.
The human rights situation room is equipped with toll-free lines and shortcodes, 08006472428 and 6472 for easy and cost-free access to complaints by members of the public. Election Observers from the Commission and other civil society organizations are requested to report any elections related violations to the NHRC Election situation room for collation, solutions and referrals to appropriate security authorities.
Fatimah Agwai Mohammed
Deputy Director Public Affairs.