Tuesday 16 July 2013

Youth unemployment, militancy threatening 2015 elections, says report

THE rising youth unemployment and unavailability of permanent voters’ register, as well as the continued existence of militant groups are formidable threats to the peaceful conduct of the 2015 general elections, says a group, CLEEN Foundation.
Giving the report in Abuja yesterday, the Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, Mrs. Kemi Okenyedo, said the issues considered risk factors in the report included socio-political and economic structures of the regions, activities of non-state actors and gender, as well as violent spots, proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

The report, entitled: “First Security Threat Assessment Towards Preparation for the 2015 General Election,” anticipates keener contests at the federal level with the emergence of All Progressives Congress (APC) and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and at the state level, where many incumbents would be vacating their offices after two terms.

The report frowned at the seemingly slow pace of activities at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other concerned agencies, especially at the state level even when political activities were on the increase.

“Despite the increasing political activities, there is no indication that INEC and other relevant agencies are doing much at the regional level in preparation for the 2015 elections,” it noted.

“The voters’ register is yet to be updated; relevant amendments to electoral laws are yet to be carried out and there seem not to be election-specific security plan and strategy for the region (northern Nigeria) despite its history of electoral violence.”

It noted that in states that are notorious for security breaches and experiencing the menace of Boko Haram, no action was being taken to forestall the breakdown of law and order during the polls. It also highlighted the political gangs disguising as vigilance groups in the South-West as a cause for concern.

And in the South-East, the report observed that though many of these groups had been dismantled officially, such as Bakasi Boys, some have been fingered and implicated in cases of assassination, armed robbery, kidnap and communal violence.

Accordingly, it warned, youth unemployment presents a golden populace for politicians as recruitment ground for political violence. Therefore, it called on election and political stakeholders, as well as security agencies to commence preparation for the 2015 election and mainstream conflict management in their plans.



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