A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has condemned the gruesome murder of Labour party’s Women Leader in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Mr Victoria Chintex saying there is an increase in discrimination and violence against female politicians in Nigeria.
The group also called for a state of emergency on violence against Women in politics.
The group also called on Nigerian Police to launch an investigation into the murder with the aim of bringing the perpetrators of the heinous crime to book without delay.
This was contained in a joint statement signed by Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF), ElectHER, DAI, Yiaga Africa, The Albino Foundation (TAF), International Press Center (IPC), The Kukah Center, IMS, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy (CISLAC), CAPPA, JDPMC and SOS children village.
According to the statement, CSOs said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has recorded more than fifty political attacks against women across 21 states, adding that more stringent security measures should be adopted to protect women ahead of the 2023 elections.
“With only 87 days to the 2023 Nigerian General Elections, the safety of women as critical stakeholders in strengthening and preserving the integrity of the electoral process cannot be overemphasized.
“While women have made significant gains in politics in recent years, their involvement has spurred attacks, intimidation, backlash, and harassment both online and offline in many parts of the country,” the statement reads.
“We have seen an increase in serious human rights violations, a worrisome surge and aggravated wave of discrimination and political violence weaponized against women during election periods.”
“INEC has documented over 52 politically motivated attacks in 21 states since the election campaign began on September 28, 2022, making the gruesome murder of the Labour Party women leader, Victoria Chintex on November 28, 2022, Nigeria’s 53rd politically induced violence ahead of the elections.
Violence Against Women in Politics (VAWP) continues to create additional impediments and in situations such as this, deadly obstacles to women’s active and meaningful participation in leadership and politics.
Today, we come together to denounce the persecution, prosecution, sexism, harassment and all other forms of discrimination and violence against female politicians and their supporters in Nigeria, and emphasize the critical need for stricter security measures to be put in place ahead of the 2023 general election, to prevent and proactively respond to incidents of violence against women before, during, and after the elections.
While we commiserate the death of Mrs Victoria Chinex and pray for the quick recovery of her husband, we call on the Nigerian Police force to as a matter of urgency carry out necessary investigations and bring all perpetrators to book without further delay.
“We also call on all political parties to live by the principles of the Peace Accord they signed at the commencement of political campaigns.
“As the Civil Society community, we are proposing the following measures:The presidency declares a national state of emergency on political violence, sending a strong message of zero tolerance against any form of violence, and clearly communicating actions that will be taking against perpetrator.
“A joint task force committee on the safety of women as candidates and electorates, comprised of relevant security agencies is set up within the next two weeks, with commitment to release a publicly accessible comprehensive prevention and emergency response action plan on all forms of violence against women in the 2023 general elections.
“While we commend the current provisions in the 2022 Electoral Act which condemns violence in elections and states penalties for infractions at 12 months jail term or a maximum term of N500,000, we recommend stricter sanctions with more severe implications as a demotivating factor to discourage the indulgence of political violence.
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