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Thursday, June 13, 2024

US report says 2023 poll reflected Nigerians’ will; LP, PDP react

US report says 2023 poll reflected Nigerians’ will; LP, PDP react

Opposition political parties in Nigeria, Labour Party (LP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday expressed shock over how the United States 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices arrived at its conclusion that the 2023 polls reflected the will of Nigerians.

They said there were widespread irregularities in the election.

But, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Presidency hailed the report, bragging that the party did not need external validation of its victories at the polls.

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The report published by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, US Department of State, highlighted human rights practices and violations in different countries, including Nigeria.

It said the last general elections in Nigeria reflected the will of the populace, despite widespread irregularities.

Picking holes in the conclusion, LP and PDP said they are committed to deepening democracy in Nigeria and averting a one-party state.

Highlights

The report stated that supporters of APC suppressed votes in Igbo-dominated areas during the March 2023 governorship election in Lagos.

“National elections were widely reported to have reflected the will of voters, despite technical and logistical difficulties, and some irregularities.

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“Many independent observers who assessed the results of the presidential, legislative, and state-level elections during the year reflected the will of voters despite reports of voter suppression and vote-buying, campaigning at polling stations, lack of ballot secrecy, violence, and intimidation.

“During the March 18 state election in Lagos, All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters reportedly intimidated and suppressed voters in Igbo-dominated areas, which Labour Party Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi, won in the February 25 national election.

“Viral videos on social media showed APC supporters in Ojo (LGA in Lagos) threatening to attack ethnic Igbo voters presumed to be pro-Obi.

“In Eti-Osa, APC supporters also attacked journalists and, in some cases, shut down voting and prevented non-Yoruba voters from accessing polls. They similarly destroyed property and physically blocked voters in Amuwo-Odofin.

“According to videos posted on social media, police officers were present but failed to respond to attacks,’’ the report read.

It said there was no evidence that individuals who perpetrated violence in Lagos during the election were arrested or prosecuted.

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