Sixty-six reports of violent incidents targeted at polling units, election officials, materials and voters were recorded nationwide in the state governorship and legislative elections on Saturday, INEC said in a statement.
The statement was issued by Kayode Idowu, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of Independent National Election Commission (INEC), in Abuja on Sunday. It said a general assessment of the elections showed that the exercise went well across the country.
It stated that a preliminary reports on the polls showed that 88.9 per cent of polling units opened for accreditation between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. across the country. “Only 5.2 per cent were yet to open as of 1p.m. Also, 73 per cent of the polling units had commenced voting by 2.30 p.m. The process of accreditation with Smart Card Readers was also successful in a majority of the polling units,” it stated.
It, however, said that initial challenges were recorded in Edo and Abia states but the technical teams deployed to support the states were able to resolve the issues in a timely manner. Overall, many parts of the country remained relatively peaceful during the elections. Some states, however, recorded a significant number of violent incidents, the most affected being Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Ondo states.
“INEC’s records show that there were 66 reports of violent incidents targeted at polling units, the commission’s officials, voters and election materials,” it said.
A breakdown of the incidents showed that 16 incidents were recorded in Rivers, eight in Ondo, six each from Cross River and Ebonyi as well as one each in Katsina, Plateau, Kogi, Abia, Imo, Kano and Ogun.
It also stated that five violent incidents were recorded in Akwa Ibom, four in Bayelsa, three each in Lagos and Kaduna, as well as two each in Jigawa, Enugu, Ekiti and Osun states. “The commission is investigating these incidents and will do everything within its powers to bring culprits to justice.”
INEC, however, commended Nigerians for demonstrating their resolve and commitment to participate in the electoral process and by doing so, contributing to deepening democracy of Nigeria. The commission urged Nigerians to maintain the peace as the results of the Governorship and State Assembly elections were being processed, and to accept the official outcomes.
It emphasised that winners could only emerge after collation of the official results and on the basis of the requirements prescribed by the law. “Any aggrieved persons or groups are encouraged to seek redress at the tribunals. INEC would also like to remind all stakeholders that the process is not yet completed and urges restraint in their comments as we strive to bring this process to an orderly, peaceful and credible conclusion.”