By Olumide Ajayi
The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, a group comprising 70 civil society organisations (CSOs), has expressed worry over the spike in politically-motivated killings in the period leading up to the elections.
Speaking ahead of the rescheduled polls, Clement Nwankwo, convener of the organisation, said reports from members of the Situation Room across the country show that over 260 Nigerians have been killed since the commencement of campaigns from October 2018 till date.
He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to address the challenges on logistics ahead of Saturday’s elections and says over 260 persons expressed concerns over reports that election materials were being taken to wrong locations.
Nwankwo commended Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of INEC, for the daily briefings on the progress and preparedness for the February 23 elections.
“We expect INEC to conduct all elections across the country simultaneously and in a very organized manner devoid of the logistics challenges that have characterized elections in the past. This is the minimum expectation from Nigerians,” he said
“We wish to remind INEC that Nigerians would not accept staggered elections in the prevailing circumstance, as this would be divisive and explosive and would only serve to undermine the credibility of the elections.
“We encourage Nigerians to defy the challenges and difficulties occasioned by the postponement of the elections and come out en masse to vote freely for the candidates of their choice and prepare to protect their votes and ensure that their votes count and are counted. We also call on INEC to ensure all personnel involved in election duties are well catered for, including security officers, ad-hoc staff and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members.”