Poll: Women group condemns violence in Lagos, Kano, Rivers

THE Nigerian Women Trust Fund Gender and Election Watch (GEW), has frowned at the disruptions to Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Lagos, Kano and Rivers states.

The group also kicked against the refusal of the Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) to declare a winner in the Adamawa State governorship election, where the incumbent governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, vying on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform, has a woman, Aishatu Dahiru (Binani), a senator, as the most formidable challenger.

The ICIR reported that INEC declared the election inconclusive, with Fintiri polling 421,524 and Dahiru (Binani) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) having 390, 275.

Coincidentally, The ICIR had its reporters in all three states that the group identified to have experienced disruptions to elections by political thugs and other factors.

Reports by The ICIR confirmed the women’s claims, as shown in its reports on the elections. The ICIR’s reports are herehere, and here.

The women deployed 350 accredited observers across the country’s six geopolitical zones to observe the election, held on March 18, from a Gender perspective in Adamawa, Kano, Lagos, Oyo, Anambra, Kogi and Rivers.

In a post-election statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer for Gender and Election Watch (GEW) Room, Mufuliat Fijabi, and mailed to The ICIR, the group said notwithstanding the challenges identified, the election was better than the presidential election conducted on February 25.

It said the governorship and House of Assembly polls were mostly peaceful in all the states its observers monitored, except Kano, Lagos and Rivers.

“Over 70 per cent of polls observed opened before 9am,” said the group. 

It listed some polling units where polls were disrupted, including in Lagos PU 24-18-11-003 Oke Afa Isolo, Ejigbo Bestford Junction. “This polling unit was attacked by thugs three times, who attempted to disrupt voting by upturning the ballot boxes and voter inducement; there was a response by security officials after the first two attacks, but no response on the third and final attack.

“Rivers: Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic PU 17 Rumuokwuta 18 B: party agents threatened the life of an NWTF observer and proceeded to seize his tag. He was helped to safety by an INEC official. 

“Kano: Tarauni LGA, Darmanawa Ward, PU 01: some party agents caused disruption, which led to ballot boxes being destroyed because some ballot papers seemed to have been used previously.

“Adamawa: Bekaji Roundabout Jimeta, Yola North: political protest was organized with security operatives firing teargas to dispel the crowd on March 20 2023, on the delayed announcement of the results of the gubernatorial election.”

Besides, the group decried voter apathy, especially among women, whom it said were afraid to come out because of threats or violence recorded during the presidential election and after the poll.

The group also condemned the intimidation of observers by security personnel in some polling units. “One example was at the Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Rumuokwuta PU 18 B, (Rivers State).

“The security situation during March 18 2023 elections was not as good as the February 25, 2023, elections. According to the GEW observers, there were security breaches which could have been avoided with intense security action and coordination.”

Some of the group’s recommendations include: 






     

     

    ⦁ That INEC should hold its partners in the planning and conduct of elections accountable for failure to deliver on their agreement

    ⦁ That the trend of incumbent governors banning NGO observers is a bad practice that should not be encouraged, especially when INEC has issued accreditation to NGOs to observe elections and a definitive legal statement by INEC must be issued to stop future reoccurrence.

    ⦁ With voter apathy, democracy is gradually becoming a product of only a few who turn out on election day to elect their representatives. All electoral stakeholders should pay attention to this and work together to reduce voter apathy drastically in future elections. 

    ⦁ That all female candidates in the 2023 general election are highly commended for their resilience and participation.

     

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here


    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement

    Recent

    - Advertisement