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Situation Room: Saturday polls worse than 2015 elections

The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room says the presidential and national assembly elections held on Saturday, took the nation a step back from the 2015 general election.

In its third interim statement assessing the electoral process, the group said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not managed the election efficiently and actions should be taken to identify what went wrong.

It also expressed worries over the election day violence and deaths, saying political parties and their thugs breached the Peace Accord signed ahead of the elections.

“Situation Room deployed over 8000 observers across the nation, and we recorded the election-related violence that led to the deaths of at least 39 Nigerians over the last 48 hours of the elections: Borno State– 4, Bayelsa State – 4, Rivers State – 16, Yobe State- 2, Kogi State-2, Ebonyi – 2, Lagos – 1, Oyo- 1, Delta- 2, Zamfara – 1 and Taraba State- 4,” the statement read.

“No election in Nigeria should cost the life of any citizen. We condemn in the strongest of terms the lack of empathy, concern and sensitivity by the political class regarding these events. These recorded deaths follow a trend of serious electoral violence since the beginning of campaigns in October 2018.

“In Lagos state, there were reports of disruption of voting by suspected political thugs who shot in the air in some places and set ballot boxes and paper on fire. In the Okota, Isolo and Oshodi suburbs of Lagos, there were reports of violence, some caused by non-arrival of INEC officials and materials,.

“We therefore call on INEC that there should be an independent inquiry into the poor management of the electoral process with a view to determining the underlining causes for logistics lapses with a view of itemising operational deficiency that led to the initial postponement of elections on the 16th of February and logistical challenges with the rescheduled elections on 23rd February 2019.”

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