*Rivers records highest incidents-16
The Independent National Electoral Commission has said the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections conducted across the country on Saturday, April 11, 2015 witnessed 66 reports of violent incidents targeted at polling stations.
Some of the incidents also aimed at the Commission’s officials, voters and election materials.
According to the commission, areas where there were violent incidents included Rivers State (16 incidents), Ondo (8), Cross River and Ebonyi (6 each), Akwa Ibom (5) Bayelsa (4), Lagos and Kaduna (3 each), Jigawa, Enugu, Ekiti and Osun (2 each), Katsina, Plateau, Kogi, Abia, Imo, Kano and Ogun (1 each).
The Commission said it was investigating these incidents and would do everything within in its powers to bring culprits to justice.
The governorship elections were held in 29 states of the federation, while state Houses of Assembly elections were held in 36 states. No election took place in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
According to INEC in a statement by Mr. Kayode Idowu, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, “the commission’s general assessment shows that the elections went very well across the country.
“According to preliminary reports, 88.9 % of polling units opened for accreditation between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. across the country. Only 5.2 % were yet to open as of 1 pm. Also, 73 % of the polling units had commenced voting by 2.30 p.m.
“The process of accreditation with Smart Card Readers was also successful in a majority of the polling units. Initial challenges were recorded in Edo and Abia states, but the technical teams deployed to support the states were able to resolve the issues in a timely manner.
“Overall, many parts of the country remained relatively peaceful during the elections. Some states, however, recorded a significant number of violent incidents, the most affected being Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Ondo States.
Idowu said: “INEC commends Nigerians for once again demonstrating their resolve and commitment to participate in the electoral process and by doing so, contributing to deepening democracy in our country.
“The Commission calls on every citizen to maintain the peace as the results of the Governorship and State Assembly elections are being processed, and to accept the official outcomes. It would like to emphasize that winners can only emerge after collation of the official results and on the basis of the requirements prescribed by the legal framework. Any aggrieved persons or groups are encouraged to seek redress at the Tribunals.
“INEC would also like to remind all stakeholders that the process is not yet completed and urges restraint in their comments, as we strive to bring this process to an orderly, peaceful and credible conclusion”.