Ejiofor who urged politicians to restrain from hate speech and violence said it portends major threats to the country in the build-up to the polls.
The security expert stated this in Akure, the Ondo State Capital during the 2022 annual public lecture of the Ulefunta festival entitled ‘Curbing Electoral Violence and Associated Crimes in Contemporary Nigeria: Roles of Traditional Institutions in Perspective’.
He asserted that to reduce electoral violence in 2023, political actors in the country must act decisively and that traditional leaders have important roles to play in the electoral process.
Pointedly, he canvassed the need to enhance national security to increase voter confidence ahead of the election, highlighting the potential impact on general election turnout.
“There are security threats towards the 2023 general elections. There would be the threat of fake news, violence, personalities, and health issues of one among others, instead of what the person wants to offer. So, we must concentrate on discussing issues rather than heating up the polity.”
“What we should do as electorates is to vote by our conscience. If the people are doing well, you can vote for them and if they didn’t do well you can vote them out of power. So, when they bring money to you, collect it and vote your conscience.”
Ejiofor urged political leaders to refrain from interfering with or deposing traditional rulers due to personal differences or unfounded allegations. He also urged the government at all levels to increase the relevance of traditional institutions for the best performance in society.
However, he cautioned traditional leaders from publicly endorsing candidates for political office, adding that their only duty should be to offer prayers for anyone who visits them to talk politics.
Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, the Deji of Akure, called on President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to permit state security organizations across the nation to carry weapons to safeguard citizens’ lives and property.
The monarch claimed that despite the deteriorating security situation brought on by banditry, kidnapping, oil theft, murders, and terrorism, among other things, the issue of insecurity had become increasingly worrisome.