The CACLD International has watched with dismay and utmost disgust the unfolding events in Nigerian democracy, especially the unnecessary militarization of the Ekiti State Governorship election. The reported molestation of a sitting Governor, Governor Fayose and the harassment of citizens of Ekiti State ahead of their elections signals an ominous departure from acceptable norms in a democracy and hence is condemned.

While we commend the desire of the Government to ensure safety during elections, the warlike police and military deployment that has been seen in Ekiti State is capable of traumatizing the citizenry and raises questions as to the capability of the Nigerian government to organize a safe, free and fair nationwide election in 2019. If 30,000 police officers and such sophisticated military hardware are needed to provide safety in one state, it goes without saying that over 1.5 million police officers and numerous military hardware will be needed for the 2019 election in 36 states. Where will the Nigerian government get this num-ber of personnel and military hardware in the face of widespread invasion of Nigerian communities by armed local and foreign terrorists and land grabbers?

The Government of President Buhari and all Nigerian security forces must ensure that the rights of the Ekiti citizens are respected and that they be allowed to choose their Governor on July 14 without any further intimidation. A free and fair election in Ekiti will be a pointer to 2019 and to Nigeria’s progress in their democratic march. As an organization committed to Human Rights, Democracy, Good Governance, the CACLD will continue to strive towards the protection of the freedoms of all people.

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20- militarization of Ekiti elections