A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has called for thorough investigation into reported infractions in the conduct of the 2023 general election.
The election which took place on Saturday was reportedly marred by violence and attacks in some states in the country. Many electorate in Lagos state reported cases of assaults from supporters of opposition parties.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the coalition said it is concerned about reports of irregularities and violence during voting in several states.
It said there were also reports of violent assaults on staff of Nigeria’s electoral commission, INEC, destruction of election materials, including BVAS, and attacks on voters in a number of places as a result of security flaws.
The coalition called for thorough investigation and persecution of persons where human error is established.
“That despite the infractions and incidents of violence reported in a couple of places, we strongly believe the elections are not beyond redemption, and thus INEC and law enforcement authorities should do all that is possible within the law to transparently rectify these situations,” it said.
The coalition said it observed INEC’s evident blunder, which resulted in lengthy delays in the start and end of voting in a number of polling units, and even the deferral of the exercise to the following day in some other units.
It said it also noticed reports of technical challenges with the BVAS in some polling locations, as well as other critical but resolved issues such as ballot paper stamping delays.
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The coalition added: “More significantly, and with grave worry, we observe INEC’s inability to quickly update the iRev Portal for citizens to monitor poll results, despite the huge expectations raised by INEC in that regard.
“We are concerned, however, by the approach that politicians across the board are taking to the issues, as well as the danger that their words and actions may pose to the Nigerian society and our efforts to secure our democratic path through fair election conduct.”
The coalition also raised concerns about attempt to end the ongoing electoral process without completing it logically and in accordance with established processes and procedures.
It urge Nigerians to be vigilant and resist any attempt by politicians of all stripes to undermine or impede the country’s hard-earned democracy.
Members of the coalition include: Abiola Akiode-Afolabi of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, Sulaimon Arigbabu – HEDA Resource Centre, Zikrillahi Ibrahim- Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED), Hazmat Lawal – Connected Development (CODE), Debo Adeniran, Centre for Anti corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Adeola Soetan – Citizenship Civic Awareness Centre, Olanrewaju Suraju – Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) and Popoola Ajayi – Value and Integrity Group.
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