A Security Threat Assessment report by a non-governmental organisation, CLEEN Foundation has identified 21 Nigerian states that may likely be affected by electoral violence during the March 28 and April 11 elections.
The report titled, “Election security threat assessment: Towards 2015 elections,” which was released on Thursday at a press briefing in Lagos pointed out that the battle against Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East would define the general elections in the northern region, Punch reports.
The states listed as likely ‘violent hotspots’ during the elections are:
Lagos, Oyo, Ekiti, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Bauchi, Gombe (North-East); Benue, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau (North-Central), Kaduna, Kano, Katsina (North-West); Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers (South-South); Abia and Ebonyi (South-East).
There may likely be low degrees of violence in the remaining 15 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
According to the report, Lagos, Oyo and Ekiti states are likely to experience violence due to the bloodshed and violence recorded in some political rallies which had held in the South-West region and also because the region would play a vital role in deciding the winner of the presidential election.
For the North-West region comprising Kano, Katsina, Kaduna and Sokoto states, the report noted that the complaints of mudslinging, intimation, harassment and dangerous public speeches were very frightening, adding that, “In Kaduna, the tension between the PDP and APC is very high and has occasionally resulted in violent confrontations and there are different cases of fracas between the supporters of both parties.”
Come Saturday, barring any happenstance, Nigeria will be holding the most keenly contested presidential election. The major contenders are Muhammadu Buhari of the APC and incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP.
There’s been heightened fear and tension in the country as many believe there will be violence once the results start pouring in. Many foreigners appear to be leaving the country. Schools are closing for the second term and Nigerians who can afford it, are sending their families out of the country, as a proactive measure against whatever may be the unexpected outcome of the polls.
It is worth mentioning that 800 people were killed in the post-2011 general election violence.