The civil society joint action committee, a coalition of civil society organisations in the country, has warned that 20 states may experience electoral violence in 2019.
The CSOs said there has been a weekly occurrence of violence in the country most of which, are not reported.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Friday, Chidi Odinkalu, senior team manager for the Africa programme of the Open Society Justice Initiative, said the violence across the states is a source of serious concern.
He added that the CSOs are alerting relevant stakeholders in the affected states to be on the alert.
Quoting Nigeria Watch, Odinkalu said: “Between June 2006 and May 2014, there were about 915 cases of election violence resulting in about 3,934 deaths; the north-central recorded about 1463 deaths; 911 deaths were recorded in north-west; 644 deaths in the south-south, while 319 and 386 deaths in the Northeast and south-west respectively.”
He added that the affected states are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Plateau, Bayelsa, Borno, Zamfara, Kaduna, Cross River, Bauchi, Oyo, Yobe, Benue, Kogi, Nassarawa, Imo, Osun, Ondo and Kano.
He also said: “The insurgency in the north-east region, the worsening banditry in Zamfara State, the herdsmen and farmers crises in the Benue state valley, the violent attacks on Shi’ite Muslims in and around Abuja, resource control violence in the South-south and south-east regions of the country, the rise in deadly gang and cult activities everywhere, including the south-west and more, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons across the country are indication of violence.
“This lethal combination of unabated violence; access to weapons and Nigeria’s propensity for turbulent and fiercely contested elections do not augur well for peace in the 2019 elections.”
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