- Troops of the Nigerian Army have been commended for their professionalism in the Edo governorship election
- Also commended were personnel of other security agencies in Nigeria
- The commendation was given to the operatives by a group of independent observers who monitored the Edo governorship election
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An observer group has commended the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for their professional conduct in the just concluded Edo state governorship election.
The group under the aegis of Independent Election Monitoring Observers said the army, the police and other security operatives deployed to the state for the election are "worthy partners of democracy."
In its interim report signed by its head of mission, Abubakar Gana, the independent observers consisting of civil society organisations and the media said the presence of "professional" troops played a vital role in the entire success.
Describing the election as one of the most peaceful and transparent poll in Nigeria, Gana hailed the army for thwarting ballot box snatching, political intimidation and vote-buying.
He said an election that was tipped to be marred by electoral violence was indeed peaceful as the various security agencies rose to the occasion.
Gana said the conduct of the troops of the Nigerian Army was exceptional as they all maintained close contact with the civil police and other paramilitary agencies that had a direct interface with the electoral process.
"It was observed that there was a strong presence of Army personnel at strategic places in the state, especially areas considered as hotspots. This indeed ensured that incidences of ballot box snatching, political intimidation and vote-buying were not experienced," Gana said.
According to him, the conduct of the security personnel and their timely responses at the poll saved the day and prevented a further escalation of violence in the state.
Gana said: "The Nigerian Army indeed proved to be worthy partners in our democratic experience by standing on the side of democracy by ensuring that it didn’t take sides with any political party or group throughout the period of the conduct of the elections."
He further called on the federal government to focus on imitating that would empower the Nigerian army to coordinate and supervise electoral processes in Nigeria.
The group urged various political actors to see the security agencies as partners in progress and desist from attempting to offer any form of inducements that would undermine the electoral processes in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the incumbent governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki, had been declared the winner of the just-concluded Edo state governorship election against the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Obaseki in his speech shortly after the declaration also described Ize-Iyamu as his brother.
The governor-elect called on the APC candidate to join his train in moving the state further on sustainable development strategies.
In other news, the governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, said that the APC lost in the Edo governorship poll because of the last-minute decision making on the part of voters.
El-Rufai said he was so confident that the APC would win the election because a poll conducted indicated that the party would emerge victoriously.
He, however, said he cannot explain what made the people of Edo state change their minds in the last minute.
Edo indigenes celebrate Obaseki's victory | Legit TV