Election SecurityNews

Violent Attacks As Nigerians Vote In National Election

Boko Haram shelled the town of Gwoza using mortar bombs as the election unfolded.

Boko Haram launched mortars at a town in southern Borno, one of several violent attacks recorded on Saturday, Feb.25, as millions of Nigerians voted in presidential and national assembly elections.  

Several people were injured when Boko Haram insurgents located on top of the Mandara mountains fired two mortar bombs into Gwoza town in southern Borno, HumAngle has learned. 

The shell targeted the Sabon Gari polling unit at the Gwoza stadium, while the other fell at a building adjacent to the AA Garba filling station.

During an evening briefing, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed that the military had informed him that it was an 81mm mortar bomb. One of the bombs reportedly landed near a facility of the electoral body. 


Earlier in the day, the INEC chairman briefed the media and public on challenges faced, including the attacks and stealing of the Bimodal Voter Authentication System (BVAS) machines in Delta state in south south and Katsina in the northwest. 

The BVAS is expected to strengthen the integrity and transparency of the elections. 

Out of the six BVAS machines lost in the Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State, three were recovered, and the remaining were replaced. The two BVAS lost in the Oshimili area of Delta State were replaced and security reinforced. 

In the Shiroro area of Niger state, activities of armed groups made it difficult to begin elections, but the polls commenced after a delay. 

“We couldn’t deploy early enough to Alawa in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State. Bandits launched an attack, not necessarily on INEC officials, but in the area. So on the advice of the security agencies, we tarried a while,” the Chairman said. 


In the southeast, security cover was required to move in four local governments in the southeastern state of Imo. 

In Lagos, thugs disrupted the voting process in parts of the state. 

“Around , some boys came here, observed the processes, and went away. A few minutes later, they came back with clothes tied to their faces and started chasing people all around with machetes,” a resident of the Eti Osa area,  Adegbite Adefemi, informed TheCable.

“At my polling unit here near the Oba Elegushi’s palace, some thugs did not allow us to vote. They scattered everywhere saying that we cannot vote here and that if we want to vote we can go to Anambra to vote,” a eyewitness told Channels Television.

An estimated 87.2 million people with permanent voter cards (PVCs) are eligible to vote for 18 Presidential Candidates, 1,100 candidates seeking 109 senatorial seats and 3,112 candidates House of Representatives seats .

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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