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Hate Speech, Violence, Threats To 2023 General Elections — Ex-DSS Director

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A retired Director of the Department of Security Service (DSS), Sir. Mike Ejiofor, has said that hate speech and violence are threats to the country in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.

Ejiofor, who said this yesterday in Akure, the Ondo State Capital at the 2022 annual public lecture of the Ulefunta festival entitled “Curbing Electoral Violence and Associated Crimes in Contemporary Nigeria: Roles of Traditional Institutions in Perspective,” however, charged Nigerians to concentrate on discussing issues rather than heating up the polity.

According to him, “You don’t buy my vote, you don’t buy vote of Nigerians; what we should do as electorates is to vote by our conscience. If the people are doing well, you can vote for them and if they didn’t do well you can vote them out of power. So, when they bring money to you, collect it and vote your conscience. We must not vote for the person that did not do well.

“There are security threat towards the 2023 general elections. There would be threat of fake news, violence, personalities, health issues of one among others, instead of what the person wants to offer. So, we must concentrate on discussing issues rather than heating up the polity.”

Ejiofor, who also called on the government at all levels towards enhancing the relevance of traditional institutions for optimum performance in the society, advised political leaders to desist from interferences and or dethronement of traditional rulers over personal differences or unsubstantiated allegations.

He said, “Despite the various subtle and brazen interferences in the affairs of the traditional institutions by politicians, yet they still wield enormous powers and fellowship amongst the populace.

“No wonder politicians patronise them especially during electioneering periods. This patronage is currently visible and will increase as the 2023 general elections approach.

“Nation building is a serious, intentional and planned endeavour. We all have a duty not to remain indifferent but to contribute our quota for the development of this country, since we have no other country.

“As we approach the 2023 general elections, we should take cognizance of some underlying causes of electoral violence if we must defeat the menace.”

The Deji of Akure, Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, asked President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to allow the South-West Security Network (Amotekun Corps) to operate with automatic weapons to protect the lives and properties of the people, saying the need for the Amotekun Corps to complement the already stressed Federal Police can no longer be overemphasized.

According to him, the issue of security has become worrisome even in the face of uncertainty and worsening security situation ranging from banditry, kidnapping, and oil theft, killings, and terrorism, ethnic and religious bigotry, among others.

Aladelusi said, “It is crystal clear that the reality has now dawned on us on the need for the involvement of our traditional institutions as a means of providing home grown approach to curbing insecurity.

“Let me inform you that through our home grown approach, our efforts yielded much result such that about 850 youths renounced cultism in Akure kingdom. The State Government appreciated this effort and many kingdoms took similar initiatives in their respective domains to rid their areas of criminals and rascals.

“The Amotekun Corps is one of the home grown approach that is yielding the desired result and I strongly believe that the huge success recorded is due to the fact that the traditional rulers were adequately involved and carried along in the scheme of things.”

Aladelusi, who also spoke on behalf of other traditional rulers in the state said there is need for the government to include traditional rulers in the scheme of things by giving them a constitutional role.

The Monarch said, “The traditional institutions can no longer continue to play a mere advisory role with no defined and specific role that can make them contribute meaningfully to the protection of lives and properties.”

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