Abuja - The Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called for an urgent investigation into security breaches during Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly polls in Rivers.
The group, which said that the investigation should cover similar cases in other parts of the country, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Police to collaborate in the investigation.
Programme Manager of the group, Cynthia Mbamalu, made the call ion a news conference on Sunday in Abuja.
Mbamalu alleged that security officials refused to act while the electoral processes were being disrupted, especially for the governorship exercise.
He said that the police had a Twitter verified account, @PoliceNG, but did not respond to any direct distress tweets sent by concerned Nigerians.
"Police did not reply any incident or situation report; they tracked and reported updates from state commands from across the country, where collations and result announcement were going on," she said.
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She said most of the cases reported by Nigerians to INEC and police on twitter were ballot box snatching, voters’ intimidation, violence, INEC staff harassment, reports of card reader malfunctioning, among others.
Mbamalu suggested that INEC should decentralise its communication and information management system, adding that the commission’s operations in the states should be strengthened to complement its national platform.
She said that INEC and police should investigate and prosecute electoral offenders more seriously to stem the tide of impunity associated with elections in the country.
She called for better training of party agents and their proper identification when deployed to polling units during the future elections.
According to her, INEC and police should maintain a more robust and interactive social media presence because of the volume of interactions and impressions created about the electoral process.
Contributing, Chinedu Nwagu, YIAGA’s Election Consultant, said political thugs were rampant during the governorship and house of assembly elections in almost all the states.
Nwagu said that there were reports of killing in Ebonyi, Delta, Oyo and Rivers sates, adding that there also reported cases of violence and disruptions in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Ekiti, Edo, Kogi, Nasarawa and Rivers states.