Enugu CSOs condemn attacks on election observers, demand arrest of perpetrators
Enugu State Network of Civil Society Organisations, yesterday, condemned attacks on election observers during governorship and state Assembly elections last Saturday.
A statement, made available to journalists by the group’s Chairman, Emmanuel Acha, stated that observers, duly accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and deployed by their respective organisations, were attacked and molested by political thugs, as well as security agencies at the just concluded governorship and state Assembly elections in the state.
The group, therefore, called for thorough investigation and immediate arrest of perpetrators.
He said: “Notable among the attacks is the one orchestrated by one Uchenna Offia on one of our election observers. We call for a thorough investigation and immediate arrest of the attackers.
“One of the incidents we cannot let go is what occurred at Obiagu Primary School polling unit.
“One of our members, Dr. Nwangwu Chukwunwike, who was working under the deployment of Nigeria’s Civil Society Situation Room for the election, was attacked by Offia while performing his legitimate duty of observing the electoral process.
“Offia, according to video evidence, forcefully collected his phone, hit his right eye, and ordered him to leave the polling unit.
“It could have been worse if the military had not intervened immediately. The victim’s right eye is still very bad. Medical report will determine extent of injury once we receive it.
“This barbaric act is unacceptable to us as civil society, and we will use all legal means to ensure the perpetrator of this heinous and illegal act is held accountable.
“Offia must explain to authorities why he molested and physically abused our member, who was on official duty.
“As members of civil society, we are committed to ensuring the 2023 general election was held in a peaceful and credible environment; thus, we cannot condone any form of electoral violence or intimidation, let alone against our member on official duty. The safety and security of observers, among others, is a priority, and it is for sustainable peace and democracy.”