According to US, APC supporters intimidated and stopped Igbo and non-party voters from casting ballots during the Lagos government election while police were present

Apr 29, 2024 | 2023 Elections | 0 comments

In its report titled “2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria,” the United States Government scrutinized instances of voter intimidation and suppression during the Lagos State governorship election in March 2023. Supporters of Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), particularly targeted supporters of opposition parties, notably Igbo people.

The report highlights that several observers observed the election amidst irregularities and violent incidents. Despite instances of intimidation and suppression in some areas, they concluded that the election results largely mirrored the voters’ intentions.

It states, “Abuses or Irregularities in Recent Elections: National elections were widely reported to have reflected the will of voters, despite technical and logistical difficulties, and some irregularities.

“Many independent observers assessed the results of the presidential, legislative, and state-level elections during the year reflected the will of voters, despite reports of voter suppression and vote buying, campaigning at polling stations, lack of ballot secrecy, violence, and intimidation.

“During the March 18 state election in Lagos, All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters reportedly intimidated and suppressed voters in Igbo-dominated areas, which Labour Party presidential candidate and ethnically Igbo Peter Obi won in the February 25 national election.

“Viral videos on social media showed APC supporters in Ojo threatening to attack ethnic Igbo voters presumed to be pro-Obi. In Eti-Osa, APC supporters also attacked journalists and, in some cases, shut down voting and prevented non-Yoruba voters from accessing polls.

“They similarly destroyed property and physically blocked voters in Amuwo-Odofin. According to videos posted on social media, police officers were present but failed to respond to attacks. There was no evidence that alleged perpetrators were arrested or prosecuted,” it added.

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