A civil society group known as the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (NSCSR), which made the allegation in the aftermath of violence that nearly marred the electoral process in Bayelsa, called on the security agencies to investigate, arraign and prosecute anyone or group of persons found to have promoted or carried out violence in the election
In a statement issued in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital on Sunday and signed by its coordinator, Anyakwee Nsirimovu, the Situation Room noted that the lack of cooperation between security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) resulted in the entire Southern Ijaw Local Government Area as well as in polling units and wards in Nembe, Brass and Ogbia LGAs of the state not participating in the election yesterday.
The election in Southern Ijaw was postponed by the INEC to Sunday, following the open confrontation between gun-totting youths loyal to the two main contenders in the election in Oporoma, headquarters of the council.
It said, “Situation Room findings indicate that political parties stoked the fires of violence in the State during this election leading to incidents of violent clashes between their supporters, occasioning deaths, injury and mayhem. The conduct of the politicians defied their open show of signing of a peace accord.
“Situation Room calls on INEC to evaluate the use of card reader technology in election with a view to improving on its efficiency and effectiveness. Situation Room is also disappointed with political leaders in the state whose conduct, carriage and disposition encouraged aggressive behavior and violence on the part of their supporters.
“Situation Room further calls for investigation of all acts of violence and the arraignment and prosecution of all persons that have promoted or carried out violence in this election.
“Our findings indicate although certain areas in the state had been previously identified as high risk areas, security agencies did not deploy effectively to reflect this, making it difficult for INEC to be provided adequate security to deploy personnel across the state.
“This resulted in the failure of the elections to hold in the entire Southern Ijaw local government area as well as in polling units and wards in Nembe, Brass and Ogbia local government areas”.