The Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), has condemned the violence that characterised the March 19 re-run elections in Rivers.
A statement signed by Mr Chima Amadi, the group Executive Director and issued to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, urged the relevant authorities to make sure that the perpetrators were punished.
It said that the group supports the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as it grappled with the challenges of reforming a flawed election process.
“We condemn in the strongest terms possible the violence that was unleashed in the state by the political actors and their agents.
“We call for the arrest and prosecution of any individual found to have remotely or actively aided and abetted these occurrences.
“We join millions of other well meaning Nigerians to mourn with the family of Samuel Okonta, the Youth Corps member who lost his life while on election duty.
“We also condole with the families of all other citizens, staff of INEC and security operatives who lost their lives during the election.
“We also call on politicians nationwide to shun violence.
“We call on Nigerians to continue to support the INEC in its efforts to reform our electoral process and provide a fair platform for Nigerians to choose their leaders freely,’’ the statement said.
It said the group was dismayed that such level of violence and destruction could take place despite the presence of security men.
The statement noted that though ISDMG acknowledged that there were logistical handicaps on the part of INEC, the situation was worsened by the violence that marred the polls.
“We call on the Federal Government to ensure effective investigation of the violence in Rivers with a view to identifying the perpetrators and bringing them to account.
“Security is the responsibility of the Federal Government; the only way to curb recurrent electoral violence is to bring perpetrators to account,’’ the statement said. (NAN)