The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has lamented the level of violence and disruption; that was experienced during the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa
States on Saturday, November 16.
This was contained in a statement issued by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye.
INEC noted that despite its efforts to ensure a peaceful, successful and credible election in the two states; reports of violent activities of political thugs cast a cloud doubt on the process.
It, however, observed that its officials were already studying all reports from accredited observer groups; as well as its officials in the fields; reminding political stakeholders in both states to remember the commitment to a peaceful and violence-free election they signed on to prior to the election.
“Despite all the efforts of the Commission and the promises of the political parties to promote peaceful elections; including several engagements with stakeholders and signing of Peace Accords; there are reports indicating that the process was in several places affected by thuggery and violence; which the Commission unequivocally condemns. We are still receiving, collating and evaluating these reports as we move into the critical phase of result collation.
“Results will be collated at Registration Areas, Local Government Areas and State levels. The staff of INEC are ready to receive these results and stakeholders; are advised to keep to their commitments to ensure peaceful conduct.
“The security agencies have been supportive so far, in the face of many challenges.
“Finally, the Commission calls on the general public to remain calm; while assuring voters in the two States of the resolve of the Commission to ensure that the elections are concluded fairly and credibly,” INEC stated.