Nigeria is yet again set to witness another election come 19th September 2020 as the people of Edo state match to the polls to vote in the Governorship election. However, the electoral process has been turbulent. Similarly, there has been increasing apprehension about the peaceful conduct of the election due to the inter-party power play between the two strongest political parties, the All progressive Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Reports of violence, hate speech, use of thugs, abuse of power of incumbency, perceived partiality, and threat to lives and properties have continued to emanate from Edo state ahead of the election.
Over the years, there has been growing concern of violence against women during electoral exercise. This has critical implications for the integrity and validity of the electoral process because when women are prevented from voting for their preferred candidates, executing their campaigns, or fulfilling their mandate, democratic processes are effectively nullified. An election is not in compliance with international obligations and standards unless it includes the opportunity for full and equal participation of women as well as men to act as voters, candidates, election administrators and observers.
Nigerian, Edo women in particular want a peaceful and credible election and are calling on the relevant security agencies and political actors to bring this to fruition. NWTF also calls on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the process is transparent, credible, and all inclusive.