Fayemi Condemns ‘Disturbing’ Election Violence In Ekiti

The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Mr Kayode Fayemi
The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Mr Kayode Fayemi

 

Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has condemned the violence that marred Saturday’s bye-election in Ekiti East Constituency 1 of the State House Assembly.

At least two persons were killed as a result of the electoral violence, the police confirmed.

A statement signed by INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, said the “voters, election officials and security personnel” were attacked prompting the commission to suspend voting indefinitely.

“This violence is most unwarranted, and deeply disturbing,” Fayemi said, according to a statement signed by his spokesman, Yinka Oyebode.

READ ALSO: [Ekiti Election] Two Killed As INEC Suspends Voting Indefinitely

“I have instructed the police authorities to fish out the perpetrators and ensure they face the music.

“Our condolences to the families that lost loved ones and those who were injured.

“Government would not relent in efforts to always ensure safety of lives and properties.

“We shall ensure all purveyors of violence are brought to book.”

Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Police Command said the violence had been perpertrated by suspected thugs in Unit 7 ward 7 in Omuo-Ekiti “while eligible voters” were performing their constitutional duty.

“The Command, while sympathising with the families of those who lost their lives, wishes all the victims currently receiving treatment in the hospital a quick recovery, including a woman Police and a member of Nigeria Youths Service Corp(NYSC),” a police statement, signed by spokesman Sunday Abutu, said.

Situation Room Decries Reports Of Deaths, Vote Buying During President, NASS Elections

Convener of the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, Clement Nwankwo

 

The Nigerian Civil Society Room has decried reports of death and vote buying during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the group which is monitoring the elections said it had received reports that a total of 16 persons were killed across eight states during the exercise.

Six people were killed in the southern state of Rivers, which has long been a flashpoint for violence, while two others were killed in neighbouring Bayelsa.

Two people were killed in Borno and Yobe states in the northeast; two in the north-central state of Kogi; and two in Ebonyi, in the southeast.

Read Also: Election Violence: Nine Arrested In Somolu – Police

One person was killed in Zamfara, in the northwest, and another in Lagos, in the southwest, which also saw ballot boxes and papers set on fire, the monitors said.

The group also noted that there were reports of vote-buying in six states – Lagos, Niger, Edo, Kwara, Kano and Katsina.

It, however, thanked Nigerians for defying the various challenges just to exercise their civic responsibility.

The group also called on INEC to do everything to ensure that voters are not disenfranchised and address the outstanding logistical challenges.

Zimbabwe’s Post-Poll Violence Inquiry To Summon Army, Police

Supporters of the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), protest against alleged widespread fraud by the election authority and ruling party, after the announcement of election’s results, in the streets of Harare, on August 1, 2018.  Luis TATO / AFP

 

An inquiry probing the killing of six people after soldiers opened fire on post-election protesters in Zimbabwe will summon police and the army to appear before it, an official said Friday. 

Kgalema Motlanthe, the former president of South Africa and the commission chairman, said the military and police would give evidence next month.

“We will be hearing from the army and the police,” Motlanthe told a news conference in the capital Harare where the killings occurred on August 1.

“We will ask all pertinent questions and expect to get pertinent answers,” he said.

Motlanthe was appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to lead a seven-member team to investigate the killings.

The deaths occurred after protesters took to the streets accusing the country’s electoral commission of delaying the announcement of results for the July 30 general election.

Mnangagwa succeeded long-time ruler Robert Mugabe who was ousted in November 2017 following a brief military takeover.

This week, several witnesses, including relatives of the deceased, gave their testimony.

Elizabeth Rubinstein, sister of one of the victims, Gavin Dean Charles, called for justice.

“I find what happened to him was brutal and it… (caused) indescribable pain to my family. The perpetrators should face justice,” a sobbing Rubinstein said in her evidence to the inquiry.

She said her unemployed brother was hoping to get a job after Mugabe’s ouster.

“He just wanted a better life. He was harmless, and to be shot twice, unarmed. The pain has been indescribable. My mum is not well, she had a stroke (and) she is not aware of his death. If we tell her it will kill her,” she said.

Some of the relatives want the government to compensate the victims’ families.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the main opposition party has vowed not to take part in the inquiry calling it a “circus” and a “big sham”.

“The actual issue is supposed to be on how soldiers ended up in the streets, firing live ammunition at unarmed civilians,” MDC said in a statement on Thursday.

The commission has three months to complete its investigations and report back to the president.

AFP

Mnangagwa Vows To Probe Zimbabwe’s Post-Election Violence

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa (C) arrives with his wife Auxilia to take his oath of office in Harare on August 26, 2018. Emmerson Mnangagwa was officially sworn in as president of Zimbabwe after winning a bitterly contested election that marked the country’s first vote since Robert Mugabe was ousted from power. Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

 

Zimbabwe’s newly sworn-in President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed Sunday to open a probe into violence which followed the country’s first election since strongman Robert Mugabe was ousted from power.

“To put closure and finality to the matter, I will soon be announcing members of the commission of inquiry into the said violence who will, upon completion, publish their findings,” he said shortly after being sworn in.

“This is a different Zimbabwe, the dawn of the second republic of our Zimbabwe.”

AFP

Zimbabwe Arrests Opposition Leader After Election Violence

MDC Alliance Spokesperson Tendai Biti speaks during a press conference in the capital Harare on June 5.  Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

 

 

Senior Zimbabwean opposition figure Tendai Biti was arrested as he tried to flee to neighbouring Zambia to seek asylum on Wednesday, his lawyer said, allegedly on charges of inciting violence over the disputed election result.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Robert Mugabe’s former ally, narrowly retained power in last week’s landmark vote, but the opposition MDC party has accused the electoral authority of rigging the result.

Supporters of the MDC took to the streets on August 1 to protest against the alleged fraud, triggering a brutal response from the military which opened fire on the demonstrators, leaving six people dead.

The day before the protests — and before the final presidential results were announced — Biti held a press conference at the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) headquarters in Harare, claiming victory for the party.

Biti is a senior figure in the MDC alliance and was the respected finance minister in Zimbabwe’s troubled 2009-13 power-sharing government.

“He was arrested at the Zambian border,” Biti’s lawyer Nqobizitha Mlilo told AFP, adding by text message that he was trying to seek asylum.

The police were not immediately available for comment.

The state-run Chronicle newspaper said Tuesday that Biti was among nine suspects sought for inciting the protests at which the army opening fire.

Police detective Portia Chinho told the paper they were wanted for “participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence”.

The European Union and the United States have condemned violent attacks targeting the opposition since the elections, with the government accused of overseeing a brutal crackdown.

 ‘Beatings and harassment’ 

Human Rights Watch reported several cases of beatings and harassment in Harare’s suburbs as soldiers in groups of four to 10 attacked opposition supporters in bars and restaurants.

The MDC has accused security forces of abducting and beating scores of activists and their families since the election result was declared early Friday.

The  poll, the first since Mugabe was ousted last year after nearly four decades in power, was meant to relaunch Zimbabwe on the international stage and attract foreign aid and investment.

“I’ve just finished going thru the evidence… We WON this election emphatically,” MDC leader Nelson Chamisa tweeted Tuesday, again alleging election authorities used falsified figures to ensure Mnangagwa retained power.

Mnangagwa says any fraud allegations should be raised through the courts and has vowed to protect rights as he promises a “new Zimbabwe” after the repression of the Mugabe era.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Mnangagwa during a telephone conversation that he must rein in his security forces, a UN spokesman said.

Guterres also spoke by phone with Chamisa to urge him to turn to the courts — and not the streets — if he challenges Mnangagwa’s victory.

The MDC is expected to soon launch a legal challenge over the election result, in which Mnangagwa won 50.8 percent of vote, just scraping in above the 50 percent run-off threshold.

AFP

Electoral Institute To Develop Election Violence Mitigation Tool

electionThe Electoral Institute is planning to develop an election violence mitigation tool to aid the prevention of electoral violence across the country, instead of intervening at the points of violence.

The Director General of the Institute, Professor Abubakar Momoh, said that militarization, which is usually government’s response to election violence, is not a solution but rather development of mitigation strategies and standard instruments that will predict risk factors and triggers and nip violence in the bud.

The Acting Executive Director of the Cleen Foundation, Benson Olugbuo, also recommended two to three years early preparation for elections, saying it is a key tool to mitigation against electoral violence.

From Kogi State, to Bayelsa State and then to Rivers, there have been series of election violence that have resulted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaring elections in those states inconclusive.

There have also been losses of lives and property resulting from these cases of violence and a constant deployment of the Police and the military to the trouble spots.

Another challenge to stopping electoral violence is the failure to try and sentence perpetrators and instigators of electoral violence in a law court.

This has been blamed for the increasing spate of cases of violence which heightens with every election as there is as yet, no form of deterrence for sponsors and perpetrators.

Edo: INEC Declares Election In Orhionmwon II Inconclusive

-The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the Edo State House of Assembly elections for Orhionmwon Constituency II inconclusive on account of alleged violence during the polls.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in the State, Mike Igini who announced this on Monday said elections in 12 polling units were cancelled.

These units accounted for over 4,000 votes, a number in excess of the margin by which one of the candidates was leading in the polls.

Mr Igini also said the Commission will conduct elections there on or before Saturday, the 18th of April, 2015.

Of the 24 constituencies in the state, APC candidates have been declared winners in 20, while PDP led in three.

Obama Commends Buhari, Jonathan

obamaThe U.S. President, Barack Obama, on Wednesday commended President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, and current President, Goodluck Jonathan, following the outcome of the presidential election.

In a statement, the U.S. President, who praised Nigeria’s commitment to democracy said: “I urge President-elect Buhari and President Jonathan to repeat their calls to their supporters to continue to respect the election outcomes, focus on unifying the country, and together lead Nigeria through a peaceful transition.”

Ahead of the general elections, President Barack Obama, had sent a special message to Nigerians, urging a credible and peaceful polls.

In the message sent directly to Nigerians, President Obama reminded the nation about its struggle for independence from colonialism, the struggle against military dictatorship and the need to turn the country’s diversity into a source of strength.

Positive reactions have continued to trail Nigeria’s conduct of its 2015 general elections with the South African President, Jacob Zuma, also commending Nigeria’s successful and peaceful conduct of the presidential election.

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, says the way the presidential election in Nigeria was conducted is “a testament” to Nigeria’s “democratic spirit”.

Mr Ban Ki-Moon also commended President Jonathan for “his statesmanship in upholding the democratic process”.

General Muhammadu Buhari was declared the winner of the Presidential election in the early hours of Wednesday and has received his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He defeated Nigeria’s incumbent President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, by over 2 million votes, in a keenly contested election which held on Saturday, March 28, 2015.

This is the first time an opposition party is winning the presidential election in Nigeria.

Before handing over the certificate to General Buhari, the Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, pledged that the commission would continue to do its best, under all circumstances, to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

Security: Olukolade Says No Cause For Alarm

Major-General Chris Olukolade
Major-General Chris Olukolade

Spokesman of the Defence Headquarters, Major General Chris Olukolade, has assured Nigerians of adequate security across the nation during and after the general elections.

He told Channels Television on Sunday that “there is no cause for alarm”, as his men were vigilant and “fully on ground”.

He stressed that the military was not deployed in Nigerian streets to threaten any law abiding citizen, but to watch out for any attempt that will disturb the peace of the nation.

In a telephone interview on #Nigeria2015, Major General Olukolade explained that the movement of his men had not been very visible but they remained very vigilant to respond, as the need arises.

On the recapture of a major terrorists enclave, Gwoza, on the eve of the General elections, he said that the counter-terrorism operation was not fully over in the town. “There are still a few searches and deployment all over the country in respond to any challenge,” Major General Olukolade said.

He further stated that the duty of the military in securing the nation was not just for the election but also after, to ensure peace and order are maintained.

“We are being vigilant to do our duty and it has not constituted any threat to any law abiding citizen of the nation.”

As the elections still continue, he urged Nigerians to feel secured, saying “there is no cause for alarm”.

President Jonathan National Broadcast On The 2015 General Elections

Here’s the full text of President Goodluck Jonathan’s National Broadcast on The 2015 General Elections.

Dear Compatriots:

1. As we prepare to go to the polls tomorrow, I have come before you this morning to express my immense appreciation for the opportunity you gave me to lead this great nation of ours in the past four years.

2. I also wish to place on record, once again, my sincere gratitude for the support you have given my administration without which the significant progress we have made in recent years would not have been possible.

3. In spite of the many challenges we have had to contend with since 1999, our present democratic dispensation continues to endure and grow stronger in keeping with the yearnings and aspirations of our people.

4. We have all worked very hard to nurture and strengthen our democratic institutions and promote the good governance practices which they were designed to deliver for the better well-being of  our people.

5. I believe I can say without fear of contradiction that we all clearly cherish the democracy we now have and will never willingly give it up for any other form of governance.

6. This much-cherished democracy of ours is about to be put to the test once again.

7. I urge you all to troop out en-masse to peacefully perform your civic duty of voting for leaders of your choice tomorrow.

8. As we do so, let us all – political party leaders, contestants, party members, party agents, supporters and ordinary voters alike, be very conscious of the fact that the eyes of the entire world are on us.

9. We must therefore comport ourselves in a manner that will further strengthen our democracy and consolidate our place in the comity of truly democratic nations.

10. I made a commitment on assumption of office to progressively deliver freer, fairer and more credible elections in our country. In keeping with that commitment, the Federal Government has given the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) all necessary support to ensure that it conducts very successful electionstomorrow and on April 11.

11. We have all been assured that INEC is fully ready for the elections. I believe that we can all trust that they are certainly more ready now than they may have been before security issues and other concerns necessitated a re-scheduling of the dates for the 2015 general elections.

12. As an administration, we welcome the fact that millions of Nigerians who were yet to receive their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) as at February 14, and would therefore have been unfairly disenfranchised if the polls had gone ahead  on that date, have seized the opportunity of the re-scheduling to collect their cards and can now exercise their right to vote tomorrow.

13. We are also glad that our gallant Armed Forces have successfully stemmed the seizure of Nigerian territories in the North-East by the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

14. They have recaptured most of the communities and territories formerly occupied by the insurgents, making it possible for thousands of internally-displaced Nigerians to begin returning to their homes and communities.

15. I heartily commend the very courageous men and women of our Armed Forces for the immense sacrifices which they continue to make in defending the nation and protecting its citizens.

16.       I also thank all Nigerians for keeping faith with us over the past six weeks.

17.       I call on all political parties and politicians in the country to allow the free, unfettered will of our people to be expressed without any hindrance in the coming elections in keeping with the hallowed principles and tenets of democratic governance which we all profess.

18.      The will of the people freely expressed through the ballot is the bedrock of all democracies and ours cannot be an exception.

19.       Let us all therefore be prepared, as true democrats, to graciously accept the outcome of the elections as the rightful choice of our people from whom all political powers in our democracy must emanate.

20.     My administration has done its utmost best in the past four years to deliver on our promise to positively transform our country.

21.       Tomorrow’s election is another very important milestone as we continue our march towards the fulfillment of our God-given potential for greatness.

22.      The election offers us another opportunity to empower leaders of our choice once again, and to show the world that genuine democracy is alive and well in our beloved nation.

23.      I will like to restate my belief that no political ambition can justify violence or the shedding of the blood of our people.

24.      I reaffirm once again, my personal preparedness to ensure fair play during the elections and to deploy the resources and institutions of state only in the manner prescribed by our laws.

25.      Let me warn, however, that as President, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, I am under oath to protect the lives of all Nigerians and the security of our country at all times. I will never abdicate my responsibilities in that regard.

26.      Democracy allows dissent. It encourages differences and even fervent disagreements. But elections must never be mistaken for war or an opportunity to set fellow citizens against each other and tear our beloved nation apart.

27.       Those who may harbor any intentions of testing our will by unleashing violence during the elections in order to advance their political ambitions should think again as all necessary measures have been put in place to ensure that any persons who breach the peace or cause public disorder during or after the elections are speedily apprehended and summarily dealt with according to our laws.

28. The nation’s security agencies are also fully prepared and ready to deal decisively with any group or persons who attempt to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the elections or cause any form of public disorder.

29. Our dear country, Nigeria is the largest democracy amongst black nations of the world. We are a nation of great accomplishments, with a proud history of evolving affinities.

30. Let us go out tomorrow to vote peacefully and set a fitting example of political maturity for other emerging democracies to follow.

31. I wish you all and our dear nation, very peaceful and successful elections.

32. May God Almighty continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

33. I thank you all.

Full Text: Obama Delivers A Message To Nigerians On Peaceful Election

obamaU.S President, Barack Obama, has called on Nigerians to shun violence and express their views peacefully during the upcoming elections.

President Obama’s message to the people of Nigeria, as posted online by the White House, is to highlight the opportunity that the upcoming elections present for all Nigerians to stand together in rejecting violence and extremism and instead show their support for a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous future.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be conducting Nigeria’s presidential election on Saturday March 28, after it was re-scheduled due to security reasons.

Full Text of President Obama’s Message to the Nigerian People

Hello, today I want to speak directly to you the people of Nigeria. Nigeria is a great nation and you can be proud of the progress you’ve made.

Together, you won your independence, emerged from military rule and strengthened democratic institutions. You’ve strived to overcome division and to turn Nigeria’s diversity into a source of strength. You’ve worked hard to improve the lives of your families and to build the largest economy in Africa.

Now you have a historic opportunity to help write the next chapter of Nigeria’s progress by voting in the upcoming elections.

For elections to be credible, they must be free, fair and peaceful. All Nigerians must be able to cast their votes without intimidation or fear.

So, I call on all leaders and candidates to make it clear to their supporters that violence has no place in democratic elections—and that they will not incite, support or engage in any kind of violence before, during, or after the votes are counted.

I call on all Nigerians to peacefully express your views and to reject the voices of those who call for violence.

When elections are free and fair, it is the responsibility of all citizens to help keep the peace, no matter who wins. Successful elections and democratic progress will help Nigeria meet the urgent challenges you face today.

Boko Haram, a brutal terrorist group that kills innocent men, women and children must be stopped. Hundreds of kidnapped children deserve to be returned to their families. Nigerians who have been forced to flee deserve to return to their homes.

Boko Haram wants to destroy Nigeria and all that you have worked to build. By casting your ballot, you can help secure your nation’s progress. I’m told that there is a saying in your country: to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done.

Today, I urge all Nigerians, from all religions, all ethnic groups, and all regions, to come together and keep Nigeria one. And in this task of advancing the security, prosperity, and human rights of all Nigerians, you will continue to have a friend and partner in the United States of America.

 

FG Reassures Nigerians Of Adequate Security During Election

Police official addressing a voter. Security during elections
A police official addressing a voter.

The Nigerian government has reassured Nigerians of adequate security for all persons, including electoral officers during the general elections to ensure the conduct of peaceful elections. 

Addressing politicians on Sunday in Abuja at a forum organised by the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, (ALGON), the Minister of Special Duties, Mr Saminu Turaki, urged Nigerians to troop out en masse and exercise their civic right by electing leaders of their choice without fear or favour.

The Minister’s call is coming six days to the general elections that will begin on March 28.

Also speaking at the occasion, the National Chairman of ALGON, Mr Micah Jiba, expressed optimism that the general elections would be devoid of violence across the country.

Ahead of the elections candidates of different political parties had signed peace accord at different times, committing to a violence-free election.

The focus is to ensure that the post-election violence experienced in some northern states will not recur before, during and after the elections.

Earlier on Sunday in Kaduna, the One Division of Nigerian Army and other security agencies held a ‘show of force’, as a sign of their readiness for Saturday’s Presidential election.

The security personnel comprising Policemen, Army, Navy, Air Force and other paramilitary agents patrolled major roads and streets in the state capital with patrol vans and Armoured Personnel Carriers to demonstrate their combat readiness ahead of the elections.