-Centre reports 10 deaths, massive violence during polls
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led House of Representatives Minority caucus has rejected the results of last Saturday’s elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, said the governorship and senatorial elections were marred by violence, rigging and other irregularities.
He said, “We are 100 per cent not in support of the outcome of the elections.”
Elumelu lamented that Senator Dino Melaye lost his nephew during the rerun election in Kogi-West Senatorial District, adding that the exercise was marred by violence.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Democracy and Development, (CDD), has revealed that 10 deaths and 129 cases of violence and electoral crimes were recorded in the Kogi and Bayelsa elections.
Quoting an analysis of the elections done by the centre’s Election Analysis Centre (CDD-EAC), who deployed observers as well roving journalists across polling units to the states, the centre said: “Elections which should have enabled citizens to express their democratic preferences were violently and crudely undermined by an unrelenting band of partisan outlaws. The magnitude of the violent assault on the sanctity of the ballot was shocking. The outcome of a process that was so criminally subverted should not be allowed to stand.”
The report signed by the group’s director, Idayat Hassan, shows that 10 deaths, 79 cases of violence and election malpractices were recorded across the 21 LGAs in Kogi State.
It listed the incidents to include the hijack of electoral materials by thugs, the kidnap of INEC ad hoc staff, vote buying, attacks on observers, intimidation of voters, under-aged voting, widespread stuffing of ballot boxes, ballot snatching and multiple voting.
Specifically, violence and disruption of voting represented 66.21 per cent of the total reported incidents; vote trading constituted 28.38 per cent while under-aged and multiple voting constituted 5.41 per cent of total incidents reported.
Being LGAs with high number of registered voters, the report noted that these incidents were rife in Lokoja, Kabba-Bunu, Ijumu, Okene, Ajaokuta, Dekina and Olamaboro LGAs.
On senatorial districts basis, Kogi West, with a share of 55 per cent, topped the charts of areas with high violence rate. Kogi East and Kogi Central respectively accounted for 27 per cent and 18 per cent for the remaining cases.
The report also touched on the massive voter turnout in local governments like Okene.
Okene was said to have a total of 114,001 accredited voters, which is 87 per cent of the total registered voters. When compared to its 2015 figure of 35,143 accredited voters, “this marks an incredible, and unlikely, 69.1 per cent increase.”