Edo election: civil society, observers score INEC low

An interim report released by a Nigerian Civil Society Election Situation Room that monitored the governorship elects in Edo state indicates that the Independent National Electoral Commission performed poorly in the conduct of the election.

The group said that reports it received from its network of observers in the field indicated that INEC’s preparation  for the Edo election was plagued by similar problems that undermined past elections.

It said observers reported that security agents were absent in a number of polling units, and election officials were not deployed in sufficient numbers in some polling units, prompting party agents to step in and assist the election officials in the accreditation of voters at PU 010 EBEN/NB III, Oguola primary school II, Benin City. 

“We are also particularly disturbed by the reports that many prospective voters were disenfranchised following the omission of their names or photographs in the voters register,” the group said.

INEC said that about 17,282 voters could not vote in eight local government areas of the state for various reasons bordering on various breaches of the Electoral Act. 

The group also reported the problems of late arrival of election materials and delays in the commencement of accreditation and voting in many polling units.

And there was a unique problem. “In some communities, the conflict over ownership of polling units nearly marred the election,” the group reported.

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