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How To Stay Safe During Elections.

by Frederick Akinola
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There is a lot of apathy during Nigerian elections due to the spike in the number of violent attacks at campaign rallies and other places, especially the polling units of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Over the years during election season. The International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) offer some precautions for staying safe during elections;

Avoid Unnecessary Movement.

On election day, the voters should avoid moving from one polling unit to another. Get to your polling unit as early as possible and cast your vote and either stay aside and wait for the result or go home, do not move around aimlessly. Voters must avoid situations that will make them stay out late in the days leading to the elections and even on election day. Staying means staying mindful always.

Avoid Arguments

Try not to criticize any politician of the opposition party in the country or your state of residence in public. This is because if you do, you might be stepping on the toes of people who may be violent, especially supporters of the politician. Avoid being part of any political argument, especially when it involves a party different from the one you’re supporting. This is so that you do not dabble into an augment that may lead to a fight.

Do Not Wear Branded Clothing

Do not wear anything that will be easily used to identify you. This is so that you do not attract the attention of opposition party members who may be irritated by it and would want to cause you bodily harm. s much as possible, try not to disclose the candidate you intend to vote for or the candidate you pledge allegiance to. Keep your intentions private.

Stay Updated with the News

Stay updated with issues by constantly listening to the news and trying to keep yourself informed. This way, you can be aware of events as they unfold to avoid getting caught in any unrest.

Avoid Vote Selling

Vote buying is a punishable offence that can attract a fine of up to #100,000, or a jail time of up to 12 months, under Section 127 (d) of the Electoral Act 2022. Therefore, do not, for any reason or for any amount at all, be tempted to sell your vote.

Carry Your Identification

Ensure you carry a means of identification when stepping out of your house on election day. This will come in handy in case of a stop and search by the security agents or in the case of an emergency, and one can also not be mistaken for a political thug.

Move in Groups.

Walking alone will make you vulnerable to harm. Try to move around in numbers to scare off prospective predators and stay safe. But as you do, try not to identify with any political party, or talk about your candidate.

Remember, you can only see the results of the elections if you stay alive. Avoid danger by any means you can, any restrain from saying anything that will incite violence.

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