Safety Tips for Nigerian Voters During Election

As the much-anticipated 2023 general election draws near in Nigeria, security agencies have assured voters of adequate protection during the voting exercise. However, individuals should take personal measures to safeguard themselves during this critical period.

Here are some safety tips for voters heading to polling units on Saturday:

  1. Confirm your polling unit before election day to avoid getting lost. You can physically visit your polling station or use the polling unit locator the Independent Electoral Commission provides on its website. Keep in mind that vehicular movements are prohibited on election day, so find a convenient place to stay if your residence is far from your polling unit.
  2. Avoid wearing political merchandise to polling booths to protect yourself from confrontation with political thugs and miscreants. Nigeria operates a secret ballot system, so publicly announcing the persons or parties you intend to vote for is unnecessary. Plainclothes are the safest choice, and branded accessories should be kept out of sight.
  3. Report any unusual activities to the appropriate authorities during the voting exercise, and do not attempt to confront violent persons. Seek refuge first and then contact security agents as soon as possible. The Nigerian Army has provided emergency lines for voters to report any suspicious activity during the voting exercise.
  4. Avoid bringing children to the polling units due to the high stakes involved in the election. Families should arrange adequate babysitting before election day to keep children safe.
  5. Focus on casting your ballot and ensuring that it is properly counted at the polling unit. As campaign activities have been halted, engaging in political discussions that could escalate into arguments or violence is inappropriate. Keep your interactions peaceful and respectful.

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