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16 killed in Nigeria election violence

By AFP

Added 24th February 2019 06:41 AM

Nigeria's Centre for Crisis Communication, which comprises representatives from security agencies identified 12 election flashpoints around the country

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Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad check disturbances by hoodlums at a polling station in Kano, the commercial capital of northern Nigeria. AFP Photo

Nigeria's Centre for Crisis Communication, which comprises representatives from security agencies identified 12 election flashpoints around the country

Sixteen people were killed on Saturday in electoral violence across Nigeria during presidential and parliamentary elections, a network of civil society organisations said.

The Situation Room umbrella group of pro-democracy groups, which is monitoring the vote, said on Twitter that "16 deaths have been recorded across 8 states". 

Six people were killed in the southern state of Rivers, which has long been a flashpoint for violence, while two others were killed in neighbouring Bayelsa.

Two people were killed in Borno and Yobe states in the northeast; two in the north central state of Kogi; and two in Ebonyi, in the southeast.

One person was killed in Zamfara, in the northwest, and another in Lagos, in the southwest, which also saw ballot boxes and papers set on fire, the monitors said.

lectoral commission officers and voters discuss while votes are counted at hagari rimary chool polling station in ola damawa tate  hotoElectoral commission officers and voters discuss while votes are counted at Shagari Primary School polling station in Yola, Adamawa State. AFP Photo

There were reports of vote-buying in six states, they added in a mid-afternoon update.

Electoral violence, which has marred previous votes in Africa's most populous country, was relatively low compared to other years. Most voting took place without incident.

Nigeria's Centre for Crisis Communication, which comprises representatives from security agencies, on Friday identified 12 election flashpoints around the country.

Analysts SBM Intelligence said 233 people were killed in 67 incidents of election-related violence from last October to Friday -- an average of two people per day.

In oil-rich Rivers, police said unknown gunmen shot dead a former local government leader and his brother in the Andoni area of the state.

Both were members of President Muhammadu Buhari's ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party.

hops in ort arcourt southern igeria closed at the market along the railway on election day  hotoShops in Port Harcourt, southern Nigeria, closed at the market along the railway on election day. AFP Photo

Police spokesman Nnamdi Omoni said "hoodlums" dressed in military uniforms also invaded some polling stations in the Okrika area of the state and snatched voting materials.

"Police have moved in to restore order in Okrika and INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) is making efforts to ensure voters are not disenfranchised in the area," he said.

At one polling unit in the Yaba area of Lagos, AFP reporters witnessed bloody fights between youths, as unknown men distributed cash to waiting groups. 

There were also reports of voter intimidation by thugs, according to local residents. 

But in many other areas, voting went on without disruption.

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