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2023 elections: 109 political-related deaths recorded in three months

About 109 deaths related to the 2023 elections were recorded in Nigeria between January and March 10 this year, a report has revealed.

The Centre for Democracy and Development in a report it released on Friday said this has created a platform for the escalation of violence during Saturday’s governorship and State House of Assembly elections if appropriate measures were not taken.

According to the CDD, electoral violence could manifest through voter intimidation, ballot box snatching and the destruction of election materials.

The chair of the CDD Election Analysis Centre, Prof. Adele Jinadu, and its Director, Idayat Hassan, stated this at a briefing during the opening of the EAC in Abuja.


While stating that there would be new governors in 17 states, regardless of the outcome of the polls due to term-limited incumbents who are ineligible to stand, the think-tank however stressed that such keen contests are likely to be sites for election violence.

The CDD said, “states that will hold gubernatorial polls with the most incidents of political violence since January 1, 2023, according to the Nigeria Election Violence Tracker are Lagos, Rivers, Kano, Delta and Anambra – with Kano the state with the most recorded deaths as a consequence at 20”.

“Osun, Imo and Ebonyi have also seen a number of incidents in the past three months that could disrupt state house of assembly polls taking place in the state. In total, 109 deaths linked to political violence have been recorded from the start of the year to 10 March 2023 according to the tracker.”

Based on its mapping, CDD predicted that violence linked to the states’ elections could worsen due to the activities of armed groups’ quasi-security outfits.

Groups such as Yan Sakai, the Civilian Joint Task Force, Neighbourhood Watch, Amotekun and Ebubeagu have been, and can be, armed and deployed by state governors and their allies to perpetrate electoral violence or suppress voter turnout, particularly in areas of strong opposition support, the organisation stated.

Apart from these outfits, the CDD believed the presence of the more conventional political thugs, paid to disrupt polls or intimidate political opponents, was a threat to these elections.

“The insecurity they create itself portends dangers for the ability to conduct credible elections, increases the likelihood of inconclusive results and, ultimately, the need for supplementary elections. Bauchi, Kano, Rivers, and Sokoto all faced this scenario in 2019, with a high risk of repeat in 2023,” it said.


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Written by Olusesan Oba

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