By Dayo Johnson
The convener of Stop Violence Against Women in Politics, Justice Development and Peace Center (JPDC) have said that there is palpable fear among voters in the Ondo governorship election due to pre- election violence experience during political parties campaigns in the state.
They specifically said that women expressed their concern that adequate measures are not in place for the protection of the women folk during the election.
The legal officer of the JPDC, Mrs Oluwatoba Olaifa at a Press conference in Akure noted that there was no visible rescue mission on the part of security agencies in volatile places.
Olaifa, said unless adequate security measures are put in place before the election, the process might affect the turn out of the election.
Olaifa described as worrisome attack on some female party supporters and called for protection for women folk during the election
She noted that most of the violence happened in densely populated areas while casualties recorded spread across men, women and youth.
According to her, “vast number of registered women voters interviewed stated categorically that they may not participate in the electoral process due to the cases of violence either witnessed, heard, or viewed on the media”
JPDC however recommended that every citizen should be encouraged to come out and vote without fear of intimidation or harassment while voters are advised to report any cases of violence in their community.
“We want to encourage citizens of Ondo state to come out and vote without fear of intimidation and abuse of voters choice and to report cases of violence in the polling units”
” Stakeholders, community leaders, government officials, political parties and law enforcement agencies to put efforts together to establish measures for the protection of voters and ensure that perpetrators of violence are apprehended and duly prosecuted in order to deter further occurrence.
“We call on INEC to be unbiased and conduct a free, fair and credible governorship election on October 10. The full participation of all registered voters including women and men will define a free and fair election in Ondo state.
The Program officer of the group, Austin Ogunleye said ahead of the election, the JDPC has trained and deployed over 54 local mobilizers to conduct voters sensitization, encourage women and youths participation in the election.