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Off-circle guber witnessed marked improvement in logistics management – Yiaga Africa



Yiaga Africa, says it observed a marked improvement in the management of election logistics during the Nov.11 governorship election in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi.

Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, said this at the organisation’s news conference report presentation on the Bayels, Imo and Kogi news conference in Abuja.

Itodo said that Yiaga Africa deployed observers to monitor the Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi elections and also deployed the Process and Results Verification for Transparency (PRVT) methodology to observe the Imo and Kogi election.

“These off-cycle elections were to test the commitment of key democratic institutions such as INEC, security agencies and the executive to restore public confidence in the electoral process.

“Yiaga Africa is concerned about the continuous decline in the quality of our elections and the penchant to lower the integrity standards of our elections irrespective of reforms introduced by INEC and progress made in reforming our election legal framework.

Itodo however commended INEC for its prompt response to the report of cases of pre-filled results sheets (EC8A) in Kogi and expressed hopes that it would fulfil its commitment to ensuring the culprits faced the full wrath of the law,” he said.

He said that Yiaga Africa also observed a reduction in cases of election day-related violence and commended the efforts of the Police and other security agencies.

He expressed hope that all reports of election offences, compromise and unprofessional conduct of some police officers would duly be investigated and culprits properly punished.

According to him, as a result of missing data from the PRVT sample coupled with high number of critical incidents recorded in Imo, Yiaga Africa was not in a position to verify the credibility and outcome of the election as earlier promised.

“However INEC official results for Kogi governorship election was consistent with Yiaga Africa’s WTV estimate as it falls within the WTV estimated range,” he said.

The executive director said that had the official results been changed at the ward, LGA, or state collation centres, they would not have fallen within the Yiaga Africa WTV estimated ranges.

“Kogi Result Verification based on reports from 278 of 286 (97.2%) sampled polling units, Yiaga Africa’s statistical analysis shows that the All Progressives Congress (APC) should receive between 47.0 per cent and 59.0 per cent of the vote.

“The Social Democratic Party (SDP) should receive between 31 per cent and 42.4 per cent of the vote and Peoples Democratic Party should receive between 4.8 per cent and 7.4 per cent while no other political party should receive more than 1.2 per cent of the vote.”

He also said that the incidence of pre-filled results sheets in some wards in Ogori-Magongo, Okehi, Adavi, Okene and Ajaokuta undermined the results from the affected LGAs.

He added that Yaiga Africa’s key findings on Election Day included use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in most areas, manual accreditation in some, voter harassment and assault among others.

He said that INEC polling officials were unprofessional and partisan in more than 15 per cent of polling units in Imo and Kogi.

Itodo said Yiaga Africa therefore, recommend that INEC should urgently review and conduct a comprehensive audit of the Imo governorship election results to inspire confidence in the process and its outcome.

He said that INEC should thoroughly investigate all the allegations of malpractices and misapplication of election laws and guidelines and remediate all the flaws including prosecuting its staff for complicity.

He said that INEC should conduct a comprehensive audit of the Imo governorship election results and make its findings public.

“Increasingly, more voters are tactically disenfranchised for conduct that is not within their control.

“INEC should review its policy to ensure that eligible voters across all polling units are given an equal opportunity to vote.

“This includes policy reviews that ensure that voters in polling units where elections are suspended or cancelled for electoral malpractice issues or logistical challenges are given an opportunity to vote,” he said.

Itodo called on the National Assembly to accelerate the process of electoral reform, especially the establishment of the Electoral Offences Commission to promptly and diligently prosecute electoral offenders.

This, he said should include fundamentally reforming the election management body, INEC, and the attitude of politicians to election.

Angela Atabo

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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