In its preliminary statement forty-eight hours after the election, the European Union Election Observation Mission in Nigeria has picked holes in Nigeria’s ongoing electoral process.
The Mission observed that though elections held on schedule but lack of transparency and operational failures reduced trust in the process and challenges the right to vote.
Speaking on behalf of the mission at a Press Conference, Barry Andrew said: “Millions of Nigerian voters cast their vote in the Presidential, Senate and House of Representatives elections despite prevailing challenges. I commend the patience of voters as well as the commitment of youth, who have contributed hugely to the democratic process.”
The Observation Mission also noted the following issues among others:
INEC’s lack of efficient planning in critical stages and effective public communication reduced trust in the process, including on election day.
Election day was marked by late deployment and opening while polling procedures were not always followed. Polling staff struggled to complete result forms, which were not posted publicly in most polling units observed.
Uploading of the results using the BVAS did not work as expected and presidential election result forms started to appear on the portal very late on election day, raising concerns.
Political parties denounced unequal campaign conditions due to interference and increase in violent incidents with a potential to impact the elections and suppress voter participation.
Stakeholders need to continue demonstrating commitment to a peaceful process – before and after the results are announced.
Any dispute arising from the electoral process should be addressed through established legal channels.”