Bauchi State southern senatorial comprises of seven local governments including the state capital, the following issues have been identified by the participants to be the main contributing triggers and actions towards political violence before, during, and after elections in the state.
These triggers consist of the following as pinpointed by the participants. They are Moral decadence, degradation of cultural values and customs, poverty, drug abuse among youths, corruption, injustice, sentiments and hate base campaigns, and availability of light arms in society. whittling down of traditional institutions, poor parental guidance, unemployment, politicians, weak punitive to crime, weak government policies, illiteracy, activities of e bad security personnel, people in political authority, the influx of migrants from other places, and massive rural-urban migration.
During the community peace talk, the participants identified the following categories of people as the victims of violence whenever politically related violence took place across the seven local government areas of Bauchi south senatorial district.
Persons with disabilities.
People in transit through the location of the problem.
Religious leaders and their places of worship.
Rival party members.
People from low-income houses
Deliberations on the issues at length:
UNEMPLOYMENT: The youths that have no livelihood and are not engaged in any legitimate activity have been identified by the participants as the likely persons to be used for political violence due to idleness and lack thereof of tangible employment to carter for their needs.
SECURITY PERSONNEL: The partiality exhibited by some security personnel has been identified as another serious factor that is influencing political violence in the zone. The use of security forces to intimidate, prevent, and harassed people deemed to be opposing the people in power must stop if peace needs to be attained.
VOTE BUYING: Payment of a meager amount of money by politicians to influence the outcome of elections has been identified as the factor contributing to the problem according to the participants.
POVERTY: Abject poverty needs to be addressed by the government, organizations, and philanthropic individuals which will help reduce the number of people likely to be swayed by bad politicians by paying them small tokens that can sustain them for three days. This will help drastically reduce the likely participating thugs to a small portion that will make them insignificant to cause any harm.
POOR PARENTAL GUIDANCE: Neglect and lack of adequate supervision and guidance by parents to their children cause all kinds of negative problems in society. Parents need to be sensitized on the need to ensure that adequate guidance is given, monitoring of their activities, and departing them from bad and toxic influence will steer their life towards positive development that will benefit both the parents, governments, society, and the children themselves.
DRUG ABUSE: The community, government, and NGOs should as a matter of urgency collaborate towards identifying drug sources, and tackling and addressing the menace at the community level. This collaboration will lead to rapid identification of areas with the drug problem, the community will get the perpetrators and necessary efforts will be used to arrest, block, and prevent access to drugs so that they cannot be used to perpetrate political violence during elections.
SENTIMENTS AND HATE-BASE CAMPAIGNS: Campaigns need to be based on issues and capacity to deliver on the mandate by the yearnings of the Constitution. Politicians need to be cautious about the need to steer away from uttering divisive and hate-laden words during the campaign that may likely cause tension and enmity between different religions, tribes, and towns.
EASY ACCESS TO WEAPONS NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED: The availability and easy access to weapons especially by the politicians needs to be identified and dealt with. Any politician caught buying and stockpiling weapons to be used during an election needs to be disqualified and prosecuted. The weapons in the hands of youths especially in the Tafawa-Balewa, Bauchi metropolis needs to be urgently mopped up before the elections.
INJUSTICE: Victimization, intimidation, marginalization and any form of injustice need to be dealt with from either top to bottom approach or bottom-to-top because it is the main storage of hatred and enmity among the people.
WEAK GOVERNMENT POLICIES: The participants identified several policies that are very good and instrumental to the development of Bauchi south in particular and the state in general. However, these good policies always suffer from a lack of implementation which makes them inconsequential. If this good policy will be aggressively pursued and implemented, the majority of the seemingly intractable
problems will be gone in the next few years.
WITTLING DOWN THE INFLUENCE OF TRADITIONAL INSTITUTIONS:
Traditional rulers are the closest and well respected by the people in their respective communities. If greater influence and responsibilities will be accorded to them, especially about things affecting their communities, peace will easily be achieved more than what is obtainable now.
The traditional institution should rise to the occasion and salvage this ugly situation. If a traditional ruler is empowered to maintain peace in his locality through collaboration with security, the crime rate will be reduced.
LACK OF ADEQUATE SENSITISATION: People need to be sensitized and educated about the dangers of political violence in our respective communities because they only serve the selfish interest of the few while endangering the lives and development of society at large.
The need to carry out advocacy and sensitization to deep and remote villages that are easily prone to such activities and engaging with the known political thugs and their members to preach peace.
The action plan was taken to address the various issues discussed:
The following are the solutions needed to solve the problem.
Sensitization and advocacy by Government, community leaders, NGOs, and individuals.
Prosecution of perpetrators and their sponsors by the government and relevant agencies.
Proper guidance and advice to youths by their parents, religious leaders, community, leaders, and mentors.
Total rejection of any candidate or political party found to be funding and sponsoring thuggery in Bauchi state. By the people and INEC.
Community-based dialogues by community leaders.
Voting for credible candidates irrespective of gender, religion, region or monetary benefits by the electorates.
Fielding popular and accepted candidates by political parties against the unpatriotic money bags.
Reducing illiteracy level by encouraging enrollment and educational impacts by Government and Community leaders and parents.
Blocking avenues for vote buying and implementing the provisions of the law as stated in the amended electoral acts.
Holding governments and politicians accountable through debates, signing binding agreements, and ensuring commitments to people’s needs.
Truce attained by any rival stakeholders:
The following are some of the truces attained in the cause of the peace talks among invited participants.
The misunderstanding between the Bauchi state student’s union Bauchi state university chapter and the National headquarters of the chapter was discussed, addressed, and settled as a result of the Program.
A few months ago, the President of the University chapter wrote an article that the government deemed to be offensive, and the state headquarters of the student body raised a petition against him to security forces which led to his arrest and detention for more than 2 months at the instance of the state government. This created a love loss between the NUBASS national body and the Bauchi state university chapter of the association. During the cause of the CPT program, the arrowhead of the petition and the accused Branch President met for the first time. However, the issue was amicably settled through dialogue, and all parties resolved to forgo the past bad blood between them.
Collective commitments made:
The participants collectively agreed to advocate and educate their respective communities and circle of influence about the need for peace, especially with the upcoming 2023 general elections.
The participants agreed unanimously to report future incidences that will lead to a breach of peace in any part of the state to the authorities concerned.
The participants will cascade the goals of the #VoteNotFight campaign to other important stakeholder friends residing in different communities in the state. (This commitment was specifically given by Mai Unguwan Dawaki who is also the Chairman of All the maianguwa’s in Bauchi state and seconded by sarkin Zango a community that is considered influential due to their strategic location, voting strength, and diversity).
The participants agreed to be the first to offer any assistance towards the campaign whenever called upon according to their capacity. The religious leaders reached a resolution to embark on preaching peace in mosques and churches because of the respect people are affording them.
That commitment and synergy need to be developed by the government, NGOs, CSOs, and community leaders to help educate the people. Social media needs to be utilized to spread the reach of the program to all nooks and crannies of the state.
The participants agreed that when we secure time for programs on radio stations, all the participants will come on air to discuss these issues when call upon. The participants agreed that any issue originating in their communities will effectively offer their help in mitigating or addressing the issue.
The participants unanimously agreed that at the communal level, the community leaders will guide their people, identify bad eggs and successfully tackle them. Other outcomes recorded, please state:
Other issues discussed include the need to have more of these programs that will reach more people to discuss this type of issues because it will give people at the grassroots level and their community leaders confidence to address their problems by themselves knowing that yes, some NGOs are there to provide help and coordinate with them. They also raised the need for proper implementation which is the most significant hindrance to the success of these types of good programs.
CPT Program in Gombe North Senatorial Zone:
Hate speech by political candidates and their supporters in media houses and social media; People use traditional and conventional media to throw shade, hate speeches, and insults at political candidates, and parties. This results in back and forth and creates tension and anger in people.
Vote Buying; Political candidates give money to people so that they vote for them. In situations where the people do not vote as expected, the candidates become angry and might engage in violence.
Religious difference: Some religious leaders encourage their followers to engage in violence by preaching hate amongst their followers.
Ethnic Difference; Community sometimes put hate in each others minds. People tend to hate the other ethnic group and will go out of their way to ensure that the other group does not attain political positions.
Illiteracy; Majority of the youth involved in election violence are not educated. They are out of school and do not know any better. They lack sound western and religious knowledge.
Lack of Patriotism; Some Nigerians are unpatriotic because of how frustrated the country is in one way or the other. As a result, they are always available for anything that will disrupt the peace and unity of the country.
Difficulty in attaining a political position; Political candidates spend too much money and undergo so much stress in order to obtain a position. This makes them desperate to use any means possible (including violence) to achieve that position.
Drugs; Drugs make youth lack their sense of reasoning and judgments, thereby going to
extreme lengths causing havoc
Parental Upbringing; Parents contribute immensely to children’s upbringing. Negligence and lack of proper home training of children have given rise to children who have grown up to become drug addicts and tyrants. Parents also contribute to poisoning their kids; minds against other religions or tribes, which contributes to the kids gettinginvolved in ethnoreligious.
Poverty; Youth agree to engage in violence if political candidates offer them some
Fake News; Tension grows and people get angry and tend to fight others as a result of
unverified news they have heard about the elections.
Unprofessionalism from some INEC officials; Some corrupt INEC officials liaise with
some political candidates, and if the supporters of the other party find out, it could lead to
The aggrieved/victims of politically related violence are said to be:
The elderly, political aspirants, voters, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and women
Deliberations on the issues at length:
Dr. Babayo raised the issue that Religion is not a trigger, rather selfish interest is the cause. He said that in 2011, the majority of Christians voted for Buhari, even though he was a Muslim. He said religious leaders and Politicians are using religion as a weapon to deceive the youth to hate each other and cause violence. He was supported by Mallam Sale Danburam who shared his experiences during his political career. He said even though he is a Muslim, Christians have helped him much more than Muslims did. He also stated that most of the time people say religionis a major trigger when in fact it is just selfishness.
Mrs. Adaline Waye Patari, Aminu Jibrin Kwami, and Imran Hamza discussed drug abuse as a major threat to the peace of this country. Mrs. Adaline recommended involving the NDLEA in programs like this because the issue of drug abuse is a major concern and major stakeholders need to take serious actions regarding that. Aminu said drugs that would be shared by politicians with youth during the election period are bought months before the election. He said strict laws should be put in place, and measures should be taken to ensure drugs are not smuggled into the country. Imran shared stories of how in 2011, and 2015 during the presidential election at Pantami and Bagadaza, the youth started burning cars, and killed someone in front of him, even before the election results were announced. He said the youth was clearly under the influence of drug abuse. Other factors that led to the disruptions were lack of good parental upbringing, fake news, and illiteracy.
Haj Maryam Mahadi said in her years of service, the areas that she had encountered violence or
heard about were Bagadaza, Jeka da Fari, Yerwa Gana, Kwami, Doho, Dukul, Kumo, and Akko.
She explained that Vote Buying, hate speech and fake news were the causes of the violence. She
narrated an experience in 2015 at Kwami LGA, where fights erupted at the polling unit because
the candidate that gave more money was getting more votes than his counterpart, This led to
fights between the supporters of the two parties, and the election at that polling unit was canceled
because the staffs’ lives were at risk.
Mallam Sale Danburam shared his experience when a friend of his who was a political candidate in 2011 got his house burnt by mobs who were sponsored by a rival political party. He said politicians give drugs, weapons, and petty cash to youth so that they burn houses, cars, and people and kill people. Drugs, poverty, lack of jobs, and selfish interests are the major issues at play.
Abubakar Yusuf Chairman of PWD explained that PWDs are at risk when violence erupts. He explained that sometimes fights might occur when preference is given to PWDs on election queues. He said people need to be educated properly on the needs of PWDs. He also added that PWDs are at a major risk of vote buying because politicians always support them during campaigns with money or other assets.