Commonwealth wants perpetrators of election violence prosecuted

Voters on voting line
Women Voters on queue at the 2019 election

The head of the Commonwealth Observer Group, Jakaya Kikwete, says perpetrators of election related violence in Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections in Nigeria should be prosecuted.

In the group’s Interim Statement presented in Abuja on Monday, Mr Kikwete, who is former President of Tanzania, said those found liable should be prosecuted.

“Election related violence and loss of life, which occurred in a number of places, is deeply troubling. Nigeria can do better. Violence has no place in a modern democracy.

“Those responsible should be held accountable. We encourage all political parties to honour their commitments in the National Peace Accord and reject violence,“ he said.

Reports from the civil society on the elections said about 35 people were killed in various election violence across eight states.

The head of the group, however, said in spite of the challenges, Nigerians still had the opportunity to express their will and exercise their franchise.

“We trust that the final stages of collation and announcement of results will be handled in a transparent and credible manner,” he said.

He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to include Nigerians on essential duties in the voting process in future elections.

We noted that polling officials, security staff and other essential workers are unable to vote and are therefore disenfranchised.

“In addition, we are told that 11.2 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) are not collected. Consequently, over 13 percent of all registered voters could not vote,” he said.


nlng Campaign AD

He lauded the hardwork and dedication of polling staff but noted that many of them would benefit from more comprehensive trainings.

The group leader also commended increased women’s political participation as candidates and encouraged the government and all political parties to take stronger action to promote “genuine inclusion”.

Furthermore, the group welcomed the passage of the Not-Too-Young-to-Run Act as a significant first step to enabling youth participation in all elective offices.

“We hope additional ways will be found to enable more young people to participate effectively in future elections as candidates and voters,” he said.

He also commended the Nigerian youth, especially the National Youth Service Corps, for their invaluable contributions to the electoral process.

The group leader commended Nigerians for their patience and commitment to democracy and appealed that they maintain the same commitment in the post-election period.

He expressed optimism that the Commonwealth Observer Group’s Final Report to contain its recommendations, would be helpful to INEC and other stakeholders in strengthening Nigeria’s democracy. (NAN)


PT Mag Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.