The National Human Rights Commission has reported the attempts of voter intimidation by thugs in some states of the federation.
The commission in the report it received through its special monitoring activities states that voting was disrupted due to incidents of violence.
In its “Preliminary Statement of the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly Elections,” signed by the Secretary of the commission, Tony Ojukwu, the NHRC stated that, “There were various reports of attempts to intimidate voters and INEC officials by party supporters and thugs.
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“These reports were received from states such as Rivers, Delta, Lagos, Kogi and Imo. NHRC monitors reported that in eight per cent of polling units, accreditation and voting were disrupted for various reasons, including the malfunctioning of election equipment and incidents of violence.”
The commission said it also got reports of vote-buying from 42 locations across the country, “particularly in Lagos, Imo, Sokoto, Jigawa, Edo, Nasarawa, Jigawa and Kogi states. Voters were offered money or other incentives to influence their votes.”
The commission also observed the inability of law enforcement agents to checkmate violence at the polling units, adding that cases of human rights violations by security personnel were also reported.
It also reported poor crowd management adding that, “in some polling units, the crowd was overwhelming and the security personnel were few in number.”
Earlier, the commission had swung into action in readiness to enforce its mandate of promoting human rights.
It launched its 2023 election project “Mobilising Voters for Election” to ensure access, participation and accountability in the electoral process.
The MOVE project monitored, among others, the collection of PVCs across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, monitoring of hate speeches and setting up of a National Hate Speech Register.
The commission on February 25, 2023 mobilised and deployed 800 human rights monitors across the 36 states and the FCT to monitor elections, while it also monitored the conduct of law enforcement and security personnel.