Election observers exonerate military of wrongdoing in Rivers, Akwa-Ibom

Election observers exonerate military of wrongdoing in Rivers, Akwa-Ibom

- Some observers have commended the Nigerian Military's for an exceptional conduct in the past elections

- The observers also absolved the Nigerian Military of any wrongdoing, especially in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states

- According to the observers, cases of the late arrival of sensitive electoral materials were minimal and a significant improvement from the previous elections

A coalition of election observers, under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Rights Movement (CCRM), has commended the Nigerian Military's for an exceptional conduct during the recently concluded gubernatorial and state Houses of Assembly Elections in Nigeria.

CCRM in a preliminary report released in Abuja by its executive director, Evelyn Agu said that after thorough analysis of the polls, the various groups under the coalition absolved the Nigerian Military of any wrongdoing, especially in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.

The report said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) smarting from the just concluded presidential and National Assemblies elections, recorded remarkable improvements in terms of logistical arrangements across the states.

The coalition also said the cases of the late arrival of sensitive electoral materials were minimal and a significant improvement from the previous elections.

"Our observers at the various polling stations across the country recorded a time lag of between 15 to 20 mins between the arrival of INEC officials and the commencement of accreditation and voting. This time lag accounted for about 85% in the various polling units across the states. In states with difficult terrains and hard to reach areas, there was a time lag of between 30 to 45 minutes. And this accounted for 25% of the states," the report said.

It also noted that while lots of political horse-trading were recorded in most of the states, especially in states that recorded political upsets, states like Akwa-Ibom, Zamfara, Rivers, and Gombe, accounted for activities that almost marred the electoral process but for the quick intervention of security operatives.

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The report said: "Oyigbo LGA witnessed an exchange of gunfire between agents of a political party and the military. The agents of the political party attempted to set the collation centre ablaze. This prompted the military to be drafted in to protect the results that were already being collated.

Access was consequently denied to political party agents, as well as observers. This, however, did not go down well with the observers who insisted on gaining access to the collation centre. The plea by the military for normalcy to return fell on deaf ears," it added.

Further noting that the role of the military in the electoral processes across the various states can be described as a timely intervention, the reports said that role of the military in the gubernatorial and state houses of assemblies’ elections was invaluable and also commendable.

"They displayed an apolitical stance throughout the process, but for instances where there was an exchange of gunfire between the military and some armed political thugs in Rivers state. They indeed professionally conducted themselves.

"It can be thus said that the gubernatorial and state houses of assemblies’ elections were generally peaceful and orderly but for some states that witnessed skirmishes that required the drafting of the military to maintain law and order.

"The posture of President Muhammadu Buhari throughout the elections indicates a non-interference and a level playing ground for all candidates regardless of party affiliations. This is quite commendable and an indication that democracy would thrive under the present administration.

The military is also commended for the role it played in ensuring the success of the success of the gubernatorial and state houses of assemblies’ elections," the report concluded.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that amid the growing tension following the long awaited declaration of the winner of the gubernatorial election in Kano state, the state commissioner of police, Wakili Mohammed is currently in a closed door meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state.

It was gathered that the CP of police and Riskuwa Shehu, began the meeting a few minutes past 2 pm on Monday, March 11.

While details of the meeting between the CP and the INEC REC remains unclear sources said both institutions area focused on re-accessing the security situation of Kano ahead of the declaration of a winner in the just concluded election in the state.

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