Following the violence that trailed Saturday’s elections in some states, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it has begun an investigation into the incidents with the view to bring culprits to justice.
The commission, in a statement made available, in Abuja, said Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Ondo States recorded a significant number of violent incidents.
“The Commission is investigating these incidents and will do everything within its powers to bring culprits to justice,” it said.
INEC’s records, according to the electoral umpire, 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 (8), 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),” it said.
The commission called 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 emphasise 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,” it added.
However, it said that general assessment showed that the elections went very well across the country.
According to preliminary reports, INEC said, 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,” it said.
INEC therefore commended 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.
“To fear the world US has led for the better part of a century, abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe and refuse the obligations of international leadership… for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solving problems is unpatriotic. “
-US Senator John McCain(At National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia)
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