2023 elections record 24 deaths, 238 violence incidents — Report

A CIVIL society organisation (CSO), Kimpact Development Initiative (KDI), says 24 deaths occurred from 230 electoral outbreaks of violence cases during the 2023 general elections.

KDI, an election violence monitoring and mitigation group, says its report showed that a total number of 98 violent acts occurred during the February 25 presidential election, and 140 were reported during the governorship and state House of Assembly elections on March 18.

Speaking on behalf of the group at the public presentation of its report on violence during the 2023 general elections in Abuja, the leader of the group, Bukola Idowu, said it looked at about 238 cases of election violence, which spread across the country.

The KDI report is titled, ‘The Quest for Peaceful Election: The Report and Documentation of KDI’s 2023 General Elections Security Interventions and Assessments.’

According to Idowu, the report was prepared with support from the National Endowment for Democracy and International Republican Institute.

“In total, we had looked at about 238 cases of election violence, which is spread across the country, and not good enough, and each of them has their perpetrators. And we also looked at the victims, which we have close to 900 victims. At the same time, there were reported 24 cases of electoral deaths,” Idowu said.

Urging the authorities to work together, he added that security organisations should deploy resources according to early warning systems.

Idowu explained that research had shown that electoral violence decreased the more security forces were present in a community, and this had proven to be one of the most effective approaches to reducing electoral violence.

He pleaded with the Federal government to show zero tolerance for the illicit sale of weapons before, during, and after elections, pointing out that arming and enlisting thugs was a major factor in the electoral violence in the sampled states.

    The study advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the police, and the Federal Ministry of Justice to guarantee that electoral offenders were prosecuted as doing so would deter other electoral offenders.

    The organisation also asked CSOs and the media to pay close attention to and strongly denounce the current government’s “misuse of power” by prohibiting political parties from accessing public spaces for their campaigns.

    The National Commissioner and chairman of the Outreach and Partnership Committee for INEC, Kunle Ajayi, a professor, highlighted that the revelation of 238 incidents of violence recorded during the violence was an improvement over past polls.

    Ajayi commended the KDI for the report and assured that the commission would continue to create conditions that would ensure peaceful elections across the country.

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