Election Situation Room: Seven were killed in less than 24 hours

The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has condemned the widespread violence in Saturday’s election, saying seven persons were killed in less than 24 hours.

In a statement, Clement Nwakwo, the convener, said this is very worrisome despite the high deployment of security personnel across the country.

“We are concerned that we are still having pockets of violence, for instance, in Ezza North LGA, Ebonyi State suspected thugs were reported to have set fire to election materials at the registration area centre (RAC),” he said.

“In Etinan local government area in Akwa Ibom State, Youth Corp members were attacked by suspected thugs while voting materials were snatched and a police officer shot in Odukpan local government of Cross River state.

“Six journalists were kidnapped in Ahaoda west local government area of Rivers state. We had seven deaths so far today. Two in Egbe Yagba in Kogi and the others in Rivers States including Emilia Gilbert a former Chairperson of Andoni local government area.

“Situation Room notes that at the time of this statement, voter turn-out remains low. The low turn-out of voters is attributed to apathy arising from the effect of the disappointment of citizens over poor conduct of the February 23 presidential and national assembly elections and the excessive and heavy deployment of military and security personnel.”

On vote-buying, he said: “There are reported widespread incidences of vote buying across the country by our observers and the Situation Room is concerned this could undermine the credibility of the outcome of the election. Sokoto, Zamfara, Ekiti, Kebbi, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ondo and Borno States among others have reported cases of vote buying.”

Nwankwo said compared to the February 23 presidential and national assembly elections, INEC handled  improved logistics better.

“In most parts of the country, voting started on time. The average starting time of voting at most polling units across the country was 8:30am. However, there were few cases of late arrival of materials and polling officials in some States.”

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