Electoral violence looms across Nigeria prior 2019 – U.S
Nigeria might witness a wave of electoral violence before the 2019 general elections given a study conducted by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on electoral violence risk assessment in Nigeria.
According to the findings, which covered eight states including Kano, Kaduna, Ekiti, Adamawa, Plateau, Anambra, Lagos and Rivers states, suggests that the implications for electoral violence is first, there is possible violence as the ruling party may use intimidating tactics to shore up the votes while similar intimidation could be applied to deter large turn-out of electorate in the opposition strongholds.
Mr. Aly Verjee, a fellow of the Institute who presented the report of the findings in Kano in a paper titled, “Nigeria’s 2019 elections: Change, Continuity and the Risk to Peace, Summary of Key Findings,” also identified Rivers, Kano, Kaduna and Ekiti states, as high risk violence states.
“The first ever peaceful transition of power in 2015 raised expectations for the government performance. Many feel their hopes have not been met. With this disappointment, we gathered there may be general voter-apathy, particularly from the stronghold of the ruling party and high turn-out in the opposition areas,’ he said.
He advised the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC as well as security agencies to adhere strictly to the electoral rules and not be seen as partisan to any party or candidate.