- The CDD has condemned the disruption of the electoral process by some notable political office holders
- The centre’s chairman, Adele Jinadu, said that there were high profile incidents of disruption of voting processes in some states
- The CDD also noted that significant logistical challenges marred the conduct of the elections in many parts of the country
- Jinadu condemned the outbreak of violence in certain places; adding that the secrecy of the ballot was violated and voters cast their ballot in full public view in some polling units
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on Monday, February 25 in Abuja condemned the disruption of the electoral process by some notable political office holders.
Prof Adele Jinadu, chairman, Election Analysis Centre (EAC), CDD, while releasing the group’s final election report said that VIPs did not conduct themselves well in spite of the warning from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), NAN reports.
Legit.ng gathers that Jinadu said that there were high profile incidents of disruption of voting processes through the abuse of the power of incumbency in some states such as Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Imo, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos and Rivers, where huge supporters escorted politicians to the polling units.
He said: “The elections provided further illustration of the anti-democratic political culture of the country’s mainstream political class, through their engagement in various forms of political brigandage and their do-or-die attitude to elections.
“If the ordinary citizens are the winners of these elections, the underlying zero-sum attitude and approach of the country’s mainstream political class leaves a great deal to be desired.’’
According to Jinadu, CDD deployed more than 35,00 field observers across the country for the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections and also set up an analysis centre to counter fake news.
He said that CCD observed that the conduct of the elections went on smoothly in most parts of the country, with ad-hoc staff arriving on time, but that significant logistical challenges marred the conduct of the elections in many parts of the country.
“For example, ballot papers were insufficient in some polling units, while in others there were lack of other sensitive and non-sensitive materials, such as indelible ink, ballots, or result sheets,” he said.
He said that smart card readers remained one of the most vital integrity checks of elections in Nigeria, though some failed but generally most of them worked well.
He expressed concern, however, that in a number of polling units where the card readers malfunctioned voting proceeded without use of the machines.
Jinadu said that adequate security personnel were generally deployed for duty in many polling units but that there were instances of disruption such as in Lagos and Imo, where no security agent was either present or able to protect electoral officials and voters.
He said that on Election Day, Nigerians woke to the news that there had been bomb blast and the insecurity situation led to the relocation of voters from Gujba to Damaturu to cast their votes, and that similarly, voters in Madagali were also relocated to a safe location in Adamawa to cast their votes.
Jinadu said that the analysis centre noted with dismay, the violence that marred the polls in some areas in Lagos, Ebonyi, Imo, Rivers, Osun, Oyo, Delta, Kogi and Akwa Ibom.
According to him, the group surmised that more than twenty people have so far been confirmed killed on election day while ballot box snatching, voting disruption severely dampened morale in Lagos and some of the states mentioned.
He said that the secrecy of the ballot was violated, and voters cast their ballot in full public view in some polling units, where polling booths were not cordoned off or cubicles provided to ensure secrecy of the vote.
He listed other electoral malpractices reported by observers to include harassment of voters by thugs, arrest of observers by security agents, snatching of ballot boxes, stuffing of ballot papers.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that an independent group in Akwa Ibom state, Akwa Ibom Progressives Coalition, claimed that the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials and other security agencies in the presidential and National Assembly elections in many areas of the state marred the polls.
The group described elections in the state as, “shambolic, disgraceful, and completely unbecoming of election umpires in any elections in any part of the world in the 21st century.”
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