Observer groups accuses security agencies of aiding rigging in Kogi, Bayelsa elections


The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities and the YIAGA Africa, have accused security agencies of aiding the rigging of the Saturday governorship election held in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

The group berated security agencies for undermine the electoral process aiding thugs to disenfranchise voters on Saturday.

According to Idayat Hassan, the Executive Director of CDD, many voters could not exercise their rights in Kogi State because of threat to their life. She further revealed that CDD observers in Kogi recorded 10 death and over 79 critical incidents during the election.

“The sheer magnitude of the violent assault on the sanctity of the ballot was shocking beyond description. The outcome of such a process that was so criminally subverted should not be allowed to stand.

“At the last count, our observer report from Kogi State had recorded the death of 10 people in various shooting incidents and attacks across the state. This has combined to damage the credibility of the polls.”

“The incidents range from hijack of electoral materials by thugs, kidnap of INEC ad hoc staff, vote-buying, ballot snatching, attack on observers and journalists and under-age voting,” she said.

The group also noted that in Bayelsa State, voters in opposition stronghold were also disenfranchised.

“The conduct of the Kogi and Bayelsa polls is indicative of an electoral environment that is fast deteriorating. The two major parties engaged in electoral misconduct. An interrogation of the turnout figure declared in Okene and Adavi local government areas could not stand proper scrutiny,” she noted.

Prof. Ibrahim Jubril also noted that despite the alleged deployment of 30,000 policemen in the states, the operatives were not visible on the streets.

“I think the situation we are in is one of grave danger to democracy and my concluding point is that we should not forget key moments in our national history -1964 and 1983 elections in which it became clear to the citizens of this country that there was state complicity to ensure that free and fair elections did not happen in this country. We are back in that situation and what is under threat is the survival of democracy in this country,” he said.

The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities also condemned the elections held in the two states. The group noted that what happened on Saturday was not an election by a warfare to capture Kogi.

According to David Anyaele, the Executive Director CCD, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to provide special aids in polling units for voters with disability.

“What happened during the governorship and Kogi West senatorial elections were not an election but warfare to capture Kogi State, as the elections cannot be said to be free, fair, credible nor inclusive.

“Based on the level of violence experienced by voters in Kogi State in the presence of over 31, 000 men and women of the Nigeria Police, we call on Nigerians to demand accountability on the role of the Nigeria Police on the insecurity that characterised the elections.”

Aisha Abdullahi, the Chairman of YIAGA Africa, urged INEC to provide details of polling units where elections were not held in Bayelsa State and ensure elections are conducted there.

She noted that many voters were disenfranchised in Bayelsa because voting did not occur in many polling units.

“INEC announced 352,552 votes or 71 per cent for All Progressives Congress and 143,172 or 29 per cent votes for the Peoples Democratic Party. These results are not consistent with the Parallel Vote Tabulation estimates of between 62 per cent and 46 per cent for APC and 52 per cent and 37 per cent for PDP. This suggests that the results were manipulated during the collation process,” Dr. Aisha said.

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