2023 elections, least violent – FG

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By Rotimi Ijikanmi

The Federal Government says the 2023 polls are the least violent in the history of elections in Nigeria.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known in Washington DC during his interactions with some policy institutes in the US capital.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister is in Washington to interact with international media and the policy institutes set up among others, to provide solutions to global challenges.

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Among the Think tanks the minister engaged with on the just concluded 2023 polls were, Hudson Institute, The Atlantic Council and Wilson Institute.

Relying on the data released by a coalition of civil society groups in Nigeria, Mohammed said the reported death of between 13 and 28 people during the just concluded elections were the lowest since the 1964/65 elections

Mohammed said during the 1964/1965; no fewer than 200 deaths were recorded as a result of election violence.

He said the 1993 election recorded 100 casualties, the1999  recorded 80 deaths, the 2003 polls recorded 100 deaths while 300 lives were lost during the 2007 election.

According to the minister, the 2011 elections recorded 800 casualties, the 2015 polls recorded 100 deaths, while 150 casualties were recorded during the 2019 polls.

The minister underscored the sacredness of life, stating that no election is worth the life of any Nigerian.

He said the essence of his quoting the data is to underscore that elections could be held without losing any life.

Mohammed assured that the country would soon get to the stage of holding general elections without recording any casualty.

Reacting to calls by opposition for the cancellation of the 2023 elections  over alleged violence, the minister said it is unjustifiable and uncalled-for.

He said the police reported

pockets of violence scattered all over the country but they were not substantial enough to discredit the polls.

Quoting the police report, the minister said there were 489 cases of electoral infractions during the election and 781 electoral offenders that would be charged to court.

In his analysis of the report, the minister said it was a ratio of one infraction in over 300 polling units,  which he said was not sufficient to void the elections. (NAN)

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