Yiaga Africa has called on security agencies in Nigeria to hold political actors and their thugs responsible for the cases of attacks on voters and other election stakeholders.
Development Diaries reports that at least 20 persons were feared killed as violence, suppression of voters and apathy were recorded during the March 18 governorship and state legislative elections in Nigeria.
Yiaga Africa, in its preliminary statement on the polls, condemned the attacks in Delta, Lagos, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Kano, and Taraba states.
‘These election-related deaths are unacceptable and highly condemnable. It is important for security agencies to hold the political thugs and their sponsors accountable for these deaths and attacks’, the statement read.
While commending the resilience of voters for participating in the election despite the tense election climate, the organisation condemned the acts of voter suppression fueled by ethnic profiling, political thuggery and desperation for victory.
‘In flagrant abuse of the constitution and the 2022 Electoral Act, registered voters and fellow citizens were denied the right to vote in some states’, it said.
‘Voting is a constitutionally guaranteed right of voters that requires free and fair participation of all eligible voters in safe and secure environment.
‘A denial of this right undermines the credibility of electoral outcomes. Yiaga Africa further condemns the cases of voter inducement reported across the country in the election as this act perpetuates electoral corruption and political inequality’.
The election observer group said the governorship election recorded 216 critical incidents which have ramifications on the credibility of the polls.
The group urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure proper oversight of the results collation process and ensure that results declared under duress or in breach of the Electoral Act 2022, INEC guidelines or manual are reviewed in line with Section 65 of the electoral law.
Development Diaries joins Yiaga Africa in calling on citizens to remain calm and maintain peace as INEC continues to collate the results from states.