Friday Olokor, Bauchi
The Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room has expressed concern over widespread irregularities, especially violence in the Kano State supplementary election held on Saturday.
The organization, therefore, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to “discountenance the supplementary elections where violence occurred and proceed to make a declaration on the basis of the polls already concluded.”
The Executive Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre and Convener, NCSSR, Clement Nwankwo, expressed these views in its statement on the supplementary elections in Kano State, jointly endorsed by two alternate chairs, Y.Z Yau and Esther Uzoma.
The statement reads, “In the light of widespread violence in the areas where INEC had conducted supplementary elections in Kano State, Situation Room calls on INEC to discountenance the supplementary elections where violence occurred and proceed to make a declaration on the basis of the polls already concluded, as the country will be in no mood to accept the conduct of another supplementary election on the back of a supplementary election.
“Situation Room is concerned about reports emanating from the Kano State supplementary elections that indicate serious violence, extensive use of thugs to perpetrate electoral violence.
“Situation Room condemns the actions of political parties in the run-up to the supplementary elections and on Election Day. Reports received show massive deployment of thugs and party agents to polling units. In Gama Ward, a large number of thugs were seen intimidating voters, observers and even INEC officials around the polling units, unchecked, despite the presence of security personnel.
“There were also incidents of high deployment of unaccredited party agents to polling units who aided the disruption of the voting process. Situation Room is concerned that abuses of electoral process and violence have occurred despite the deployment of top-level Police officials, including a Deputy Inspector General, three Assistant Inspectors-General and Commissioners of Police.
“In the previous elections, the State Commissioner of Police took charge without senior-level officers. It is therefore ironic and curious that this level of violence and political thuggery would occur with this quantum of senior Police Officers deployed. Situation Room has always advocated against redeployment of Commissioners of Police ahead of elections.
“Reports also showed that there were high incidences of vote buying facilitated by thugs and party agents. This trend was seen particularly in Gama Ward of Nasarawa Local Government. There were also reported cases of attempted inducement of observers with cash.”