2023: Tony Blair Centre names Muslim-Muslim ticket, others as threats

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The same faith muslim-muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress, the Boko Haram, the Indigenous People of Biafra, and other groups have been identified as threats to the peaceful conduct of Nigeria’s 2023 elections.

This was stated in a report released by the former Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, explaining why the security risks to the country’s 2023 general elections should not be neglected.

In recent times, insecurity has dominated discourse across the country, as terrorism, banditry and kidnapping heightened in the north-east, north-west and north-central; separatist violence and crude oil theft in the south-east and south-south; as well as cultism, armed robbery and sundry crimes in the south-west.

According to the report, Nigeria has never had a violence-free election before, and the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC)’s choice of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, both Muslims, as the party’s presidential flag bearers for the election could pose an additional threat.

The report partly read, “While peaceful and credible elections have never been a foregone conclusion in Nigeria, there are additional threats next year, with the biggest among them the violent activities of several non-state armed groups who have publicly expressed a wish to scupper the country’s vulnerable democracy. Boko Haram, which has attempted to disrupt past elections and has expanded its operations since the last cycle, remains a threat while others – the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and “bandit” gangs – have emerged with a sophistication and lethality that should raise concerns.”

“Past experience shows that an election can be a trigger for violence, with the potential for widespread social unrest. This risk is heightened by the ruling party selecting presidential and vice-presidential candidates drawn from the same faith as well as the spread of disinformation on social media,” the report added.

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