By Olawale Ibrahim, Lokoja
An election monitoring group and non- governmental organization, the Search for Common Ground has identified overriding political culture of money politics and godfatherism been some of the causes of political violence in the country.
The group also identified quest for power at all costs by politicians, corruption, poverty and identify politics, based on religion, ethnicity leading to the culture of identity-based rivalries and violence.
The non-governmental election observer group who observed the just concluded elections in Kogi State stated this at the post-election review meeting on Tuesday in Lokoja, the Kogi State Capital.
Omolola Mamedu, the early warning coordinator while reviewing the last elections in Kogi State said that the overall analysis revealed massive election violence, political killings, ballot box snatching and the use of thugs to perpetrate violence.
She said observers also reported a high level of vote-buying at polling units across the state.
She told participants, at the review conference that there was a proliferation of firearms leading to sporadic gunshots by unknown gunmen with fake uniforms.
Mamedu also said that intimidation and harassment s of voters, observers, media and IBEC officials also characterized the election while hate speech were freely employed during the period under review.
She, however, condemned the unprofessional conduct of some INEC officials and security agents while expressing appreciation for the role of media despite operating in a difficult circumstance during the election.
She called on relevant actors and security agencies in the electoral process to adhere to early warning signals of electoral violence and appropriately seek measures to mitigate or prevent violence from escalation.
“There was the need to common nice early voters education months before election any election So as to fully inform voters on the need to for their preferred candidate instead of encouraging vote-buying and all forms voters inducement”, she recommended.
Mamedu urged political parties and their supporters to refrain from deploying and perpetrating electoral violence, respect and adhere to the rules governing the conduct of which election.