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Voter tampering, violence, and suppression marred Nigeria’s election

Apr 30, 2024 | 2023 Elections | 0 comments

On Thursday, United States authorities alleged that a range of irregularities marred Nigeria’s 2023 general election. The US Department of State, in a report on human rights practices, highlighted instances of voter suppression and violence targeted at specific ethnic groups during the Nigerian election.

According to the report, independent observers documented various irregularities, including reports of vote buying, campaigning at polling stations, lack of ballot secrecy, and incidents of violence across the presidential, legislative, and state-level elections.

While acknowledging that national elections generally reflected the will of voters despite technical and logistical challenges, the report underscored concerns regarding reported irregularities.

The report detailed alleged intimidation tactics employed by supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the March 18 state election in Lagos State. It claimed that APC supporters intimidated and suppressed voters in Igbo-dominated areas, which heavily favoured Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi, an Igboman.

Instances of voter intimidation, suppression, and violence were reportedly observed in areas such as Ojo and Eti-Osa. In Ojo, APC supporters were seen threatening ethnic Igbo voters, presumed to support Obi. At the same time, journalists were attacked, and polling stations were allegedly shut down in Eti-Osa, preventing non-Yoruba voters from participating.

he report also highlighted incidents of property destruction and physical obstruction of voters in Amuwo-Odofin, attributed to APC supporters. Despite evidence captured in social media videos, the report noted a lack of intervention by police officers and the absence of arrests or prosecutions of those responsible for the irregularities.

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