LP, PDP Others Kicks As US Dept. Release Report Saying 2023 General Elections Reflected The Will Of Voters

tin atiku obi kwakwanso

The opposition Labour Party, LP, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, expressed shock over how the United States 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices arrived at its conclusion that the 2023 polls reflected the will of Nigerians, despite widespread irregularities.

However, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Presidency hailed the report but said the party did not need external validation of its victories at the polls.

The report published by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, US Department of State, highlighted human rights practices and violations in different countries, including Nigeria.

It said the last general elections in Nigeria reflected the will of the populace, despite widespread irregularities.
Picking holes in the conclusion, LP and PDP said they are committed to deepening democracy in Nigeria and averting a one-party state.

Recall that reports that a 2023 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Nigeria by the U.S. Department of State has said the 2023 elections were marred by violence, vote-buying, voter suppression and intimidation among other challenges.

The report seen by our reporter on Thursday also stated that there were reports of campaigning at polling stations, lack of ballot secrecy and various irregularities during the country’s 2023 elections.

The report said many independent observers acknowledged that the presidential, legislative, and governorship elections largely reflected the will of voters

The report read, “Many independent observers assessed the results of the presidential, legislative, and state-level elections during the year reflected the will of voters, despite reports of voter suppression and vote buying, campaigning at polling stations, lack of ballot secrecy, violence, and intimidation.”

The report cited an incident which occurred during the March 18 state election in Lagos, stating, “During the March 18 state election in Lagos, All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters reportedly intimidated and suppressed voters in Igbo-dominated areas, which Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, won in the February 25 national election.

“Viral videos on social media showed APC supporters in Ojo threatening to attack ethnic Igbo voters presumed to be pro-Obi. In Eti-Osa, APC supporters also attacked journalists and, in some cases, shut down voting and prevented non-Yoruba voters from accessing polls. They similarly destroyed property and physically blocked voters in Amuwo-Odofin.

“According to videos posted on social media, police officers were present but failed to respond to attacks. There was no evidence that alleged perpetrators were arrested or prosecuted.”

The report also highlighted the persistent underrepresentation of women and marginalized groups in Nigerian politics.

It stated that religious, cultural, and economic barriers were contributing factors for the underrepresentation.

It added: “The national average of women’s political participation in Nigeria was 6.7 per cent in elected and appointed positions.”

The report further noted that media outlets often stereotyped women politicians and, in some cases, refused to cover their campaigns allegedly on the orders of opposition officials and candidates.

“Media outlets stereotyped women politicians as “promiscuous” or “cunning” and in some cases refused to cover their campaigns allegedly on the orders of opposition officials and candidates,” it added.