INEC has declared the election inconclusive.
The Nigeria Civil Society Election Situation Room, one of the accredited groups that monitored the Anambra State governorship election, has scored INEC low in its conduct of the election.
In its final statement on the election issued in Awka, Sunday, the group noted that INEC failed to live up to expectations.
“It is our overall impression that the conduct of the elections leaves a lot to be desired and reflected the lack of competence on the part of INEC in the conduct of elections,” said the group.
“The several failings of past elections identified in previous observer reports seem to have repeated themselves, and INEC’s assertion that this election would be a litmus test of its preparedness for
the 2015 general elections has not been fully realised.”
On the timely distribution of materials and commencement of accreditation, the group noted that election materials were not distributed in a timely manner in many polling units, and that this affected the timely commencement of accreditation and voting, particularly in Idemili North, Idemili South, and Ogbaru Local Government Areas.
“The Situation Room is concerned that INEC is still not able to deal with the perennial challenge of late distribution of election materials and commencement of accreditation and voting.
“The Situation Room is also very worried about the gross incompetence of INEC officials charged with the responsibility of distributing election materials. This incompetence
manifested in the reported mix up of the election materials for areas such as Idemili North LGA.
“It also reflects INEC’s failure to respond to challenges in a timely and effective way. Although INEC has rescheduled elections in a number of polling units in the worst affected areas, such mix up affects the integrity of our electoral process,” the group said.
Election officials were not deployed in
sufficient numbers to some polling units, according to the group, making it difficult for the election officials posted to the units to effectively carry out their
“We received reports that in some polling units, election officials were recruited at the election venue and deployed without any form of training. The inadequate deployment of election officials and their poor training contributed in a large measure to the failure of INEC to effectively implement logistical arrangements for the election.”
The group further stated that some voters could not find their names in their voters’ register in many polling units, particularly in Idemili North LGA.
“The Situation Room is worried that widespread cases of missing names in the voters’ register questions the integrity of the accreditation process and the authenticity of the voters’ register.
“We, therefore, in the strongest terms possible charge INEC with the responsibility of addressing the systemic organisational failures as witnessed in many areas of Anambra State, especially in Idemili North LGA.
“INEC must make concerted efforts to ensure that registered voters are not disenfranchised in future elections.”
The group noted that the election was characterised by a low voter turnout.
“Although various reports in the media suggest high turnout of voters based on the sometimes large crowds seen milling around some polling units, the actual accredited voters based on our observations fell far short of the numbers of registered voters in the respective polling units.”
The group, however, commended security agents deployed at most polling units for conducting themselves professionally.
“This is in spite of reports that security officers deployed from outside Anambra State were not adequately provided with food and shelter.”
The Situation Room expressed worries that INEC was not publicly announcing the results coming in from the local government areas to the state collation
“We are aware that the collation phase is traditionally the weakest link in the elections process in Nigeria.
“The fact that the announcement of the final result will be delayed due to the rescheduled election in Idemili North LGA and that the results from other local government areas are being withheld by INEC provide cause for concern.”
The group’s report also commended the people of Anambra State for the orderly and peaceful manner in which they conducted themselves during the governorship election in the State, despite the challenges and difficulties experienced with the elections.
“INEC’s conduct of the Governorship election in Anambra State poses serious concerns ahead of the 2015 general elections and the Situation Room calls on INEC to change its strategy with a view to improving on its preparations for the 2015 elections,” said the group.
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