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The coalition of civil society organizations on human rights and conflict resolution has raised the role of security agencies in the presidential and national assembly elections on Saturday in the 36 states of the Federation.
The Human Rights Group strongly praised national safety authorities for having performed their duties professionally before, during and after national surveys.
Maxwell Gowon, executive director of the security-related coalition during the polls, praised the Nigerian military for its efforts for peace, stability and security, even though the forecast for security and life during the election was grim.
Gowon reported extensively on the events in some states during the polls and urged security agencies to be on alert as the prospect of violence remains high following the announcement of the findings.
The group also warned the parties to warn their supporters against violence.
His statement below.
"The coalition of civil society organizations for human rights and conflict resolution dropped 4,000 observers to the Presidential and National Assembly (Senatorial / House of Representatives) held nationwide on Saturday, February 23, 2019.
The coalition called for greater focus on security, human rights and the general atmosphere of the elections.
"This decision was influenced by the fact that several other observer organizations focused on issues such as transparency, timeliness, openness and other key points of the election. The decision is in line with the main objectives and thematic priorities of the coalition of civil society organizations in the field of human rights and conflict
"At this time it is important to point out that the observation of the coalition in the period before the elections was incremental, with the result that some of the observations made on election day were not isolated, but were made in relation to the elections ongoing incident prosecution.
"The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, using the data collected by their observers, found that incidents occurred on election day:
In Aboema, the government district of Akoku-Toru, armed gunmen who were hired by politicians were deployed to attacked soldiers. Six of them were killed when the Nigerian army personnel fended off the attack. A lieutenant of the Nigerian army died during the encounter, while two civilians died in the assassinations.
The army arrested 15 people who acted as political thugs in the southern administrative district of Ijaw in the neighboring state of Bayelsa.
"In the delta state, police have confirmed two (2) deaths on Sapele's state axis.
The state of Edo was experiencing incidents of rioting, but the army entered to bring the situation under control. The perpetrators were arrested and handed over to the police.
"In Cross River and Akwa-Ibom, the army's earlier warning to other security services was taken into account, as the situation was favorable.
The state of Anambra is one of the states where the Independent National Electoral Commission has been forced to postpone elections because of violence, while the state of Ebonyi has seized power that claimed three lives on the eve of the election. Abia, Enugu and Imo were largely peaceful.
"The state of Lagos is a state in which some elections have been postponed due to violence. In some cases, at the time of counting, there were cases where ballots were torn and destroyed. Overall, security agencies and the support of the Nigerian army allowed the situation to be kept under control without escalation.
"The violence in Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Ogun and Oyo (a person killed in Oyo state) was easy to handle. The presence of the military ensured that things did not get out of hand.
"Despite the widespread threat of elections, the explosions of Boko Haram / ISWAP in the state of Borno did not prevent citizens from exercising their rights in the elections. The Nigerian army has successfully restricted the ability of terrorists to cause disruptions. Similar explosions in the state of Yobe did not prevent the vote.
Gombe, Bauchi, Taraba, and Adamawa recorded limited incidents that were not significant enough to influence the election.
"Despite Kano's concerns and incidents of pre-election violence, the presence of the Nigerian army has ensured that voters can fulfill their civic duties without fear. Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Jigawa were largely free of major incidents to justify concerns, as the presence of the Nigerian army in these places encouraged violence, while one (1) person was killed in Zamfara.
The Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) had peacefully held the elections, while atrocities in the state of Kogi claimed at least two casualties. The states of Kwara, Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa and Niger reported less violence than previously feared.
"The feedback that observers have received from voters is that there are several factors that reduce the risk of violence, resulting in fewer than expected counts of violence, intimidation of voters, and elimination of ballot boxes. Factors identified include:
"Rivers, Lagos, and other places where violence took place harbored fierce critics of the military's policy of engaging in ballot boxes. These are also the places where most people have tried to delegitimize the order to the army.
"The recorded cases of violence, especially if they resulted in the loss of life, would have been prevented if people had not tried to criminalize the assigned role of the Nigerian army to achieve political points.
"The coalition of civil society organizations on human rights and conflict resolution has adopted provisional positions until the parliamentary elections scheduled for 9 March 2019 have been completed:
"The coalition paid tribute to the Nigerian military for its efforts to bring peace, stability and security, even though the forecasts for security and life during the elections were grim. It is noteworthy that the military, especially the Nigerian army, exercised this cumbersome responsibility with full recourse to the rules of engagement.
"The coalition strongly condemns the attack on troops who have compulsory voting. The act is an unnecessary provocation and aggravation that still requires that the country station troops for elections, although this is usually a duty for the civilian police.
"I urge all security forces to remain on high alert, bearing in mind that the prospect of violence remains high after the announcement of the results."
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