Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the 2019 elections in Nigeria which brought President Muhammadu Buhari back into office for a second term were marred by political violence, some of it by soldiers and police officers.
The report which was released on Monday called on Buhari to take concrete steps to address widespread political violence and ensure accountability for human rights abuses by soldiers and police during his second term.
The HRW said the election period witnessed persistent attacks by factions of the Boko Haram insurgent group in the North-East, increased communal violence between herdsmen and farmers spreading southward from North-Central states and a dramatic rise in banditry, kidnapping and killings in the northwestern states of Kaduna, Katsina and Zamfara.
In the report, the HRW said it interviewed people, including voters, journalists, election observers, activists and Independent National Electoral Commission officials in Rivers, Kano and other flash point states.
It said from the results, it documented 11 deaths specifically related to violent interference in the election process during the February 23 presidential election and subsequent state elections.
According to the report, the national and state elections in February, March and April contributed to the general insecurity across the country as the politically related violence reported in many states was in contrast to the relatively peaceful 2015 elections which brought Buhari to power.