By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC on Monday disclosed that Rivers and Kaduna states top the enviable list of violence in the recently held general elections across the country.
The Commission condemned the emerging risk of violence in the 2019 general polls as documented in its report of human rights assessment of the exercise.
Speaking at a media launching of the report on Monday in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu stated that “there were cases of unlawful killings, injuries, destruction of properties and vote trading among others.”
The media launching of the output was a collaborative effort between the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Human Rights Advancement Development and Advocacy Centre (HURIDAC).
In his remarks, the Executive Director of HURIDAC, Mr. Oyedele Ameen called on the relevant authorities to ensure that those who perpetrated electoral violence which led to loss of lives, injuries and destruction of properties are prosecuted in accordance with the law to serve as deterrence in future elections in Nigeria.
According to the joint report by NHRC and HURIDAC, “destruction of properties ranks highest with about 37% of the total computed during both elections, followed by injuries 25%, politically related deaths 19%, politically motivated killings 13%, extra judicial killings 6% and Security forces were victims in 10% of cases, while they were allegedly perpetrators in 90% of cases involving them.
In terms of total incidence of Violence in various states, the report indicates that Kwara state ranks highest 21% because of high level of destruction of properties, followed by Kaduna state 14% because of high level of politically related killings and FCT is third, 12% due to high level of injuries sustained by Police Officers, while Rivers state accounts for 50% of the total incidence of violence.
The report also highlighted the challenges associated with the social media and elections, fake news and hate speech.
Consequently, the report recommends the following: “more assertive communications by INEC, transparent results management, staffing reforms, earlier and more consistent security preparations.
Others are “improved internal democracy within political parties and the creation of a specialized Election Offences Commission which will alleviate some risks of violence in forthcoming elections.”