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Situation Room: 16 were killed in election day violence

Situation Room: 16 were killed in election day violence
February 24
02:41 2019
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At least 16 people were killed during the February 23 presidential and national assembly elections, according to the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room.

Clement Nwankwo, convener of the group, said this at a press briefing in Abuja on Saturday.

There were reports of violence across the country during the exercise.

Nwankwo said it was worrying that despite all the assurances from INEC during the week, the atmosphere of the election was tensed.

“We note with concern the rising incidences of violence and reported deaths in some states of the country. At the time of this statement, Situation Room has received reports of about 16 deaths across eight states: Borno – 2, Bayelsa – 2, Rivers – 6, Yobe – 2, Kogi -2, Ebonyi – 2, Lagos – 1, and Zamfara ,” he said.

“In Lagos State, for instance, there are reports of disruption of voting by suspected political thugs who have shot in the air in some places and set ballot boxes and paper on fire in others. In the Okota, Isolo and Oshodi suburbs of Lagos, there are reports of violence, some caused by non-arrival of INEC officials and materials.”

He also blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for some of the challenges experienced during the exercise.

“The late arrival of materials and ad-hoc staff account for much of the delay in polls opening across the country. In some places, voting started around 11 am. The delay in the commencement of vote will certainly affect the collation process, which is now feared to extend well into the night, with attendant security risks and further logistics concerns,” he said.

According to YIAGA Africa (Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement), a member of Situation Room, south-east and south-south recorded the lowest number of early poll openings.

About 27 percent of polling units had opened as at 10 am in the South East. In the South South, it was only 21 percent. The average across other parts of the country was about 45 percent as at 10 am.
The organisation condemned vote buying which was reported in Lagos, Niger, Edo, Kwara, Kano and Katsina States, as well as card reader malfunctioning.

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