Voters Intimidation, Suppression, Others Marred Nigeria’s elections – Group

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The gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections on Saturday allegedly experienced from violence, voter suppression, ballot box snatching, and intimidation, according to the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a pro-democracy organization.

This was mentioned during a post-election media conference on Monday in Abuja by the Executive Director and Chairman of the CDD’s Election Analysis Centre, respectively, Idayat Hassan and Adele Jinadu.

The group claimed that 10.8% of the monitored polling places witnessed violence, despite the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) improvements in election administration.

It lamented that the conduct of the elections diminished INEC’s credibility.

The CDD said: “10.8 percent of observed polling units recorded violence and/or fighting. This was most pronounced in the North-West (19.9 percent) and South-South (11.6 percent) geopolitical zones with Bayelsa and Zamfara the two states with the most incidents recorded by our observers.

“In the first six hours of polls being open on 18 March, CDD’s war room team came across a flurry of voter intimidation videos, particularly from Lagos State, where it was ensconced in rhetorics about belonging and ethnic identity, an illustration of the ways that voter intimidation took place both online, as well as offline.

“Victims of this violence were first and foremost voters, some of whom were denied the right to exercise their franchise as a result of polling units cancelling results or having their ballot boxes snatched, even though some efforts were made where possible, to hold polls the following day for example.

“But there were also attacks directed at, or threats made toward, ad-hoc INEC staff, with one shot in Cross River and more than ten kidnapped after voting in Imo state, journalists reporting on the election in Lagos, Rivers and Ogun, domestic election observers and other party agents.”