The Presidential and National Assembly elections have come and gone and thankfully it was relatively safe and violence-free. The period preceding 28th March was filled with tepid so you can imagine the relief when the results were announced and the incumbent President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria conceded to the defeat by the opposing party candidate.
This previous experience has made most people complacent and therefore the tendency to relax and take things for granted is very high. Elections in Nigeria have a history of tension, violent activities and/ or reactions prior to, during and after the exercise.
The following preventive measures is recommended to be applied as Nigerians vote today, April 11th in the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections to ensure their safety and security:
- Avoid open display of your partisanship, use of political stickers on your vehicle or walls of your residence and branded clothing.
- Avoid public gathering and keep your voting preference confidential. There are opposing views everywhere and your celebration may trigger their sadness. Be very careful.
- Be security conscious as touts and criminals may use this period to rob and kidnap people.
- Avoid as much as possible travel to potential flash-points during post-election periods.
- Avoid taking routes through offices of main political parties belonging to the contending parties, and key poll-related institutions, such as INEC premises.
- Know that post-election celebration is likely to cause an increase in road traffic incidents and accident, avoid following motorcades and celebration convoys
- Keep abreast of information of planned activities (rallies, gatherings, etc.) billed to take place in and around your area via radio, Television news, Corporate Organisations' security text messages and local and social media with a view to avoiding the area where possible.
- After casting your votes, leave polling centres immediately. Always inform trusted family contact of any movement out of your home.
- In the case of civil unrests, keep yourself and your family indoors at all times and keep your homes locked down. Ensure that all windows and doors are secured.
- Reduce road travel during this period as much as practicable by stocking your home with basic supplies of food, cooking materials, water, and cash sufficient for extended period of restriction, first aid, adequate airtime on your phones, power generation and basic medication.
- Put together a ‘Grab-n-go’ bag. This is a backpack that is filled with essential material to help in the event of need to move if area becomes unsafe.
Ultimately remain safe during the period; your life is more valuable than the results of the election.