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Bayelsa/Kogi polls: Nigerian Situation Room decries level of violence

Kogi, Bayelsa, violence, election

Seeks passage of Electoral Offences Commission law

Says electorates were paid N500 to N6000 to vote

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

The Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room, on Sunday, decried what it termed as unprecedented level of violence witnessed in the just concluded governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States, even as it called for urgent passage of the Electoral Offences Commission law.

The Situation Room which is a coalition of over 70 CSOs in the country that deployed observers to the two states, in a statement, it made available to newsmen in Abuja, maintained that the elections represented a major setback for Nigeria’s electoral democracy.

Even though it noted that there were few reports of polling materials and personnel not arriving on time, the Situation Room said it still received reports of late commencement of polls in several polling units across the two States.

It said it also received reports of security personnel standing by and watching incidents of ballot box snatching, violence and abuse of the electoral process.

ALSO READ: Bayelsa/Kogi elections: SERAP wants ICC probe APC, PDP officials over violence

Besides, the CSOs bemoaned the level of vote-buying in both states, stressing that some electorates were swayed with money ranging between N500 and N6000.

“The levels of violence witnessed in the two-State governorship elections are unprecedented, alarming and raises questions about the credibility of the elections. Nigerians had expected that lessons learnt from the 2019 General elections by stakeholders especially by political parties, the Police and other security services would be taken to improve on the conduct of these elections.

“Unfortunately, this was not the case and both elections have proved to be a disappointment. The governorship elections conducted in Kogi and Bayelsa States represent a major setback for Nigeria’s electoral democracy”.

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