Pan-African Women Project, a foreign election observer group from South Africa, has cautioned the military against harassment of Journalists and other election observers who would be monitoring the governorship and House of Assembly elections on Saturday in Ebonyi State.
The group stated this at a pre-election briefing in Abakaliki.
It claimed that during the last presidential and National Assembly elections, election observers including some journalists were harassed and detained while they were discharging their lawful duties.
The leader of the group, Lebogang Mhkize appealed to the security agencies especially the army to accord election officials necessary support to discharge their duties.
“We also wish to call on the security agents not to allow themselves to be used by the political class to intimidate, harass or cause fear in the electorate, electoral officers, media personnel and election observers in any way as there were reported cases of harassment perpetrated on some journalists and election observers by soldiers in the last presidential poll,” Mkhize added.
The group also lamented the pockets of violence during the presidential election in some parts of the state.
“On further investigation, it was revealed that the violence at these places were masterminded by some political elites across party affiliations who sponsored political thugs for the purpose of enhancing their political interest”, Mrs Mhkize said.
While describing the violence that trailed the election as anti-democratic, the group called on the people of the state to refrain from any act of violence as this can be inimical to the interest of the state.
The group further stressed that the role of every stakeholder in any electoral process can either jeopardize and have a negative influence in the society or help to re-streghten the culture and values in the polity.