INEC Releases Interim Report, Acknowledges Violence In Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Others

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,has released an interim report on the conduct of the governorship and state legislative elections across Nigeria.

The commission, in the report released on Sunday afternoon, stated that its “general assessment shows that the elections went very well across the country.”

It however acknowledged that based on its findings, the elections were marred by violence in some parts of the country. It listed cases of violence in its records to include “Rivers State (16 incidents), Ondo (cool, Cross River and Ebonyi (6 each), Akwa Ibom (5) Bayelsa (4), Lagos and Kaduna (3 each), Jigawa, Enugu, Ekiti and Osun (2 each), Katsina, Plateau, Kogi, Abia, Imo, Kano and Ogun (1 each).”

PREMIUM TIMES had reported the death of at least six persons in various violence acts in Rivers during the elections with the state living up to pre-election predictions of violence due to a proxy tug of war between the Peoples Democratic Party-led presidency and the ruling All Progressives Congress in the state.

INEC said it is “investigating these (violent) incidents and will do everything within in its powers to bring culprits to justice.”

The agency also admitted that its officials failed to arrive on time for elections in at least 5 per cent of the polling units across Nigeria.

Read the full statement below:

The Independent National Electoral Commission conducted Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections across the country on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Governorship elections were held in 29 States of the Federation, while State Assembly elections were held in 36 states. No election took place in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

A general assessment shows that the elections went very well across the country. According to preliminary reports, 88.9 % of polling units opened for accreditation between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. across the country. Only 5.2 % were yet to open as of 1 pm. Also, 73 % of the polling units had commenced voting by 2.30 p.m.

The process of accreditation with Smart Card Readers was also successful in a majority of the polling units. Initial challenges were recorded in Edo and Abia states, but the technical teams deployed to support the states were able to resolve the issues in a timely manner.

Overall, many parts of the country remained relatively peaceful during the elections. Some states, however, recorded a significant number of violent incidents, the most affected being Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Ondo States. INEC’s records show that there were 66 reports of violent incidents targeted at polling units, the Commission’s officials, voters and election materials. These were in Rivers State (16 incidents), Ondo (cool, Cross River and Ebonyi (6 each), Akwa Ibom (5) Bayelsa (4), Lagos and Kaduna (3 each), Jigawa, Enugu, Ekiti and Osun (2 each), Katsina, Plateau, Kogi, Abia, Imo, Kano and Ogun (1 each). The Commission is investigating these incidents and will do everything within in its powers to bring culprits to justice.

INEC commends Nigerians for once again demonstrating their resolve and commitment to participate in the electoral process and by doing so, contributing to deepening democracy in our country.

The Commission calls on every citizen to maintain the peace as the results of the Governorship and State Assembly elections are being processed, and to accept the official outcomes. It would like to emphasize that winners can only emerge after collation of the official results and on the basis of the requirements prescribed by the legal framework. Any aggrieved persons or groups are encouraged to seek redress at the Tribunals.
INEC would also like to remind all stakeholders that the process is not yet completed and urges restraint in their comments, as we strive to bring this process to an orderly, peaceful and credible conclusion.

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