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Nigeria: Authorities must prevent 'unacceptable' deadly violence ahead of elections


Presidential and National Assembly elections to be held on 25 February

Deadly violence and intimidation rampant ahead of the elections

‘The violent incidents are deeply worrying’ - Osai Ojigho

Ahead of the presidential and national assembly election on 25 February, Amnesty International is calling for political parties, politicians, and security forces to refrain from condoning, or engaging in violence or incitement that could deprive people of their human rights.

Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International’s Director of Nigeria, said:  

“The desperation of political actors during election campaigns with cases of incitement, as well as attacks on campaign convoys and individuals in some states is unacceptable.

“The failure of the authorities to bring to justice those responsible for deadly violence during previous elections has created an atmosphere of impunity and emboldened others.

“There is also a pattern of gender-based violence by threatening women and girls with rape designed to intimidate or prevent them voting, that must end now.

“The violent incidents are deeply worrying and may have implications for the general human rights situation before, during and after the elections.

“The Nigerian authorities, political parties and candidates must uphold their human rights obligations by making sure that discrimination, hostility or violence has no place in the country.”

Incidents of violence

There have been several cases of violence towards political leaders and campaigners documented in recent months, as Amnesty warns that this violence may continue to escalate.

On 28 November 2022, Victoria Chimtex, leader of the Labour Party in the Kaura Local Government Area, was shot dead, following multiple reports of violence throughout the year.

The fatal violence has continued in 2023, with David Uche, chairman of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in Ibeme Ward was shot dead on 4 January.

Ten days later, four people were killed when gunmen attacked the home of Ikenga Ugochinyere, a spokesperson for the Coalition of United Political Parties in Imo state, before setting his home on fire.

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