Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, has described reported cases of killings and assault in the build-up to governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states as shocking and barbaric.
Therefore, TMG called on the Inspector-General of Police to order an immediate probe into the killing in Bayelsa State and alleged attack on the governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party, SDP, in Kogi State.
Violence had erupted in Nembe-Ogbolomabiri in Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, on Wednesday, November 13, when supporters of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, clashed at the venue of PDP’s governorship campaign rally. A stray bullet from political thugs killed one, leaving many other with injuries.
Also, recently, the governorship candidate of SDP in Kogi State, Mrs Natasha Akpoti, claimed she was attacked by thugs working for APC.
TMG advocates neutrality
Reacting, TMG, an election-monitoring coalition of over 400 civil society organisations, in a statement, said: “It is shocking and barbaric that political rallies have become theatres of war in recent times in Nigeria. And the police, who are assigned with the constitutional role of safeguarding lives and properties, are found wanting.”
The statement, signed by Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Chairman, TMG, urged security agencies to remain neutral and strictly pay attention to adequate security measures to prevent any breakdown of law and order, especially with unlawful movement of armed thugs on election day.
“In view of the foregoing,” it added, “we also urge Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to strictly adhere to the provisions of the Electoral Act with regards to the use of the card reader and respond appropriately to issues as may occur on or before election day.
“TMG will deploy its trained and accredited observers in all collation wards in addition to polling units across local governments in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
“Therefore, we urge Nigerians in general and the people of Bayelsa and Kogi in particular, to remain resolute in their bid to entrench enduring democracy and rule of law in Nigeria.”