Buhari won 2019 presidential election amidst electoral violence —HRW

                             Image result for Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari won the February 23 presidential election amidst widespread cases of electoral violence, the Human Rights Watch has said.

Some of the violence were carried out by soldiers and police officers, the HRW alleged in its report published on Monday and titled, ‘Nigeria: Widespread Violence Ushers in President’s New Term.’

The international human rights organisation said the general elections were marred by persistent attacks by factions of the Boko Haram terrorist group in the North-East, increased clashes between militia Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the South and Middle Belt, and an uptick in banditry, kidnapping, and killings in Kaduna, Katsina, and Zamfara states.

READ  NGF bars Journalists from coverage of induction programme

The organisation also cited cases of pre-election violence, infiltration of poll centres by armed men and attacks on voters, journalists and observers in states like Rivers and Kano.

HRW also criticised the security forces, especially the police, for failing to respond effectively to threats to people’s lives and property.

The organisation tasked President Buhari to take concrete steps to address the widespread political violence and ensure accountability for human rights abuses by soldiers and police as he began his second term.

The report quoted the Nigeria researcher at HRW, Ms Anietie Ewang, as saying there was no progress made to address electoral violence in the country when the 2019 exercise was compared to previous ones.

READ  I’m Leaving Behind N42bn For My Successor – Okorocha

She said, “The lack of meaningful progress in addressing the prevalent political violence, as well as lack of accountability for rights abuses, marked Buhari’s first term in office.

“He should put these issues at the front and centre of his second term agenda and urgently take concrete steps to improve respect for human rights.”

The HRW said it documented 11 deaths specifically related to violent interference in the electoral process during the general elections, stating that the polls had contributed to the general insecurity across the country.

READ  7 Killed As Gunmen In Military Uniform Invade Benue Community

The report quoted SBM Intelligence, an organisation that monitors sociopolitical and economic developments in Nigeria, as saying 626 people were killed before and during the elections.

The HRW added, “Nigerian voters have entrusted Buhari with another opportunity to address the nation’s serious human rights problems, including political violence.

“He should start by reforming the security forces to ensure strict compliance with human rights standards and prompt investigation and prosecution of those credibly implicated in abuses.”

Recommended For You

Leave a Reply