The elections were marked by widespread violence across the country. The violence was pervasive and cut across all regions of the country. Electoral violence is a grave threat to democracy and the peaceful coexistence of citizens in any country. The 2023 Nigerian Presidential and Gubernatorial elections were marred by electoral violence which left scores of citizens dead, injured, and property destroyed. The incidents of electoral violence were witnessed across the country, with Lagos State being the epicenter of the violence.
The coalition condemns in the strongest terms possible the violence that occurred during the elections. It is unacceptable that innocent citizens had to pay the price for the lack of preparedness, incompetence, and connivance of some government agencies, political actors, and security operatives.
Reports from various credible sources have revealed that the violence was instigated by political thugs, who were mobilized and armed by some politicians to disrupt the elections. The violence was also exacerbated by the lack of adequate security, as security operatives were either absent or compromised by politicians who had ulterior motives. There were also reports of where thugs prevented people from voting, disrupted voting, snatched ballot boxes, threats and intimidation of voters by political actors.
The violence was perpetrated by different groups, including political thugs, ethnic militias, and other non-state actors who were emboldened by the weak response of law enforcement agencies.
The violence continued after the election as there were reported cases of attacks on the homes of candidates and their supporters and arson in various markets in Lagos.
The violence continues unabated, some individuals have experienced severe injuries that may require lifelong medical attention. In Lagos alone, at least three agents of the Labour Party have died, while others have lost their eyesight or have bullets stuck in their bodies.
The coalition is committed to ensuring that those responsible for the violence are held accountable for their actions. We call on political leaders to refrain from inciting violence and to work towards peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Electoral violence undermines the legitimacy of the democratic process and erodes the trust of citizens in the government and institutions responsible for ensuring credible elections. We ask the government to investigate and bring to justice all those involved in
the perpetration of electoral violence, including politicians who sponsored the thugs, security operatives who looked the other way, and political actors who engaged in vote buying and intimidation.
We are committed to ensuring that perpetrators of election-related violence are held accountable and that victims receive justice.
· Detailed information on the violence that occurred during the elections, including specific incidents and evidence
· Testimonies from eyewitnesses and victims of violence
· Detailed information on the involvement of non-state actors, including political godfathers, in manipulating the elections
· Testimonies from eyewitnesses and victims of non-state actor influence
· Detailed information on the xenophobic and tribalistic attacks against the Igbo ethnic group in Lagos state
· Testimonies from eyewitnesses and victims of xenophobic and tribalistic attacks