This weekly update highlights political violence in the Niger Delta with a focus on election-related violence in Rivers State. Historically, elections in Rivers State are high stake aﬀairs oﬅen characterized by lethal violence. According to data (see map above), over 100 incidents of political and election-related violence were reported in Rivers State between January 2019 and December 2022, including more than 40 fatalities. In the lead-up to the 2023 general elections, political tension has intensiﬁed with several reported incident of lethal violence in the State. In January 2023, for instance, two explosions reportedly occurred and injured three residents at the venue of a political rally in Rumuwoji community, Port Harcourt LGA. Separately, in January, political thugs reportedly attacked the governorship candidate of a political party and his campaign in Akinima community, Ahoada West LGA. More recently, on January 31, 2023, political thugs reportedly attacked the campaign team of the governorship candidate of a political party, shot sporadically, and abducted the party’s campaign director in Opobo Town, Opobo/Nkoro LGA.
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