Blank NEWS Online can disclose that Delta, Kaduna and Bayelsa have ranked higher on violence in election and post-election incidents between the months of April and September 2011.

According to a report issued by United States based civil society organisation, Fund for Peace, the general elections in April this year were riddled by irregularities and violence.

The report, made available to Blank NEWS Online states in part: “As highlighted in this report, within southern states such as Akwa Ibom and Delta, there were incidents of election violence and irregularities, especially at the gubernatorial level.”

It also said, “While the elections held in April 2011 were hailed as the fairest in Nigeria’s history by international observers, political intimidation, election irregularities and violence, including riots and bombings, occurred throughout the North and South.

The US organisation’s report while rating Delta, Kaduna and Bayelsa high on violence, also predicted violence in the 2012 Bayelsa governorship poll.

“Looking ahead, we are very concerned about the potential for violence in Bayelsa state’s upcoming gubernatorial election, slated for February 2012.

“This is particularly concerning, given a history of political violence between politicians at the state level in Bayelsa, and the state government’s frequent use of state and non-state armed forces in a manner outside of the rule of law.”

The organisation further confirmed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) violation of the zoning agreement which deprived candidates from the northern part of Nigeria from contesting the presidential election until another four years in 2015 is the cause of major crisis in the North, allegedly perpetrated by the Boko Haram Islamic sect.

“The alternation of the presidency between the North and the South every two terms has been the rule since 1999, as per a PDP agreement. However, the death of President Yar’Adua mid-term in 2010 has thrown this delicate balance off kilter.

“This current term was expected to have been Yar’Adua’s (a northerner) second term, instead of Jonathan’s (a southerner) first elected term. This, coupled with an opening up of the political space and great strides being made in democratisation, has threatened those with vested interest in the status quo and brought ethnic and religious tensions to the surface,” the report stated.

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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