Posted by Nigeria Election Situation Room
The governorship election in Anambra State has progressed without any major hitch, and the people of Anambra state have so far conducted themselves in a peaceful manner. Reports received by the Nigeria Civil Society Election Situation Room from our network of observers throughout Anambra State indicate that security agents were deployed in sufficient numbers in most polling units, and that these officers and men have in the main conducted themselves in a professional and commendable manner. This is in spite of reports that security officers deployed from outside Anambra State were not adequately provided with food and shelter.
However, the Nigerian Civil Society Election Situation Room received reports that accreditation process did not commence on time in many polling units, particularly in Idemili North, Idemili South, and Ogbaru Local Government Areas, due to the perennial challenge of late arrival of election officials and materials. INEC has in response extended the accreditation and voting periods for the affected areas, but more needs to be done to protect the integrity of the election process.
The Situation Room was also informed by observers that election officials were not deployed in sufficient numbers to some polling units, making it difficult for the election officials posted to the units to effectively carry out their duties. We received reports that in a particular polling unit, election officials were recruited at the election venue and deployed without any form of training. We fear that this could pose challenges during the voting and collation processes.
Although there were no reports of large-scale disenfranchisement of voters following the omission of their names in the voters register, our network of observers noted that some voters could not find their names in their voters’ register in a number of polling units. In some communities, the polling units were located far apart, making it difficult for some voters to reach their polling units. These challenges, in addition to the generally low voter turnout reported by observers, call for a concerted effort by INEC to ensure that registered voters are not disenfranchised and that voter apathy is addressed in future elections.
As the Anambra State governorship election progresses, we expect that INEC will carry out the process in a professional and transparent manner, and that the voters, party agents and security forces will continue to conduct themselves in peaceful manner.
The Nigerian Civil Society Election Situation Room will issue a final statement on the Anambra State governorship election subsequently.
Nigeria Civil Society Election Situation Room 2 Okemesi Crescent, Off Oro-ago Crescent, Garki II, Abuja, Nigeria. Tel: +234(0)809 189 9999 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://electionsituationroom.wordpress.com