Fabiyi, others worried over human rights abuses during elections

The Breaking the Silence Foundation, a non-governmental organisation founded by actor Yomi Fabiyi and a few colleagues to fight against human rights abuses in the country, have expressed deep concern over what they described as the gross violation of the human rights of Nigerian voters during the last presidential and National Assembly elections across the country.

Fabiyi, who is the convener, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said that the issue of violence, which characterised the elections in some parts of the country, would be vigorously addressed in due course.

“Nobody feels really concerned about voters who were killed during the elections by political thugs and law enforcement agents. This is because they do not understand that respect for the rights of others is fundamental to the growth of democracy. Any country that does not respect the rights of its people will not move forward.

Some people left their homes on election day to cast their votes. In the end, some hoodlums who claimed that they supported a particular party came from nowhere and attacked the voters. We also heard that in some places, ballot papers were either torn to shreds or burnt right in the presence of the people who had already cast their votes. This is shameful. And we are going to hold politicians responsible for this,” he said.

Fabiyi urged every Nigerian who was disenfranchised during the elections to speak out. “They should speak out so that we know those who were disenfranchised. But they must be prepared to back up their claims with evidence,” he said.

But the Foundation is not likely to act until the conclusion of the forthcoming governorship and House of Assembly elections.

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