The Independent delivery monitoring group has commended the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the recently conducted rescheduled election in Edo state on Wednesday 28 September, 2016.
While commending INEC,the body also recommended for synergy between INEC adhoc staff and the security agencies.
In a release signed by the Director Communication and Mobilization/ Leader, Observer Team,Faith Nwadishi, INEC and the srcurity agebcies should be applauded on the feat.
Excerpt of the release: “INDEPENDENT DELIVERY MONITORING GROUP (Centre for Transparency Advocacy) deployed 100 observers to the field to monitor the elections across the 18 LGAs of Edo state.
We noted early deployment of men and materials by INEC as well as security agents to polling units.
We equally, noted that accreditation and voting started as early as 8: 15 am in most polling units across the state. For instance, voting commenced in Unit 45 after accreditation in Ogiomo Secondary school, Ward 6 Ikboba-Okha as early as 8:22 am
Voter turnout was impressive and people patiently waited to cast their votes.
Some isolated infractions were reported at Ujemen ward 5 units 8 as a result of shooting by NSCDC personnel as they were alleged to be harassing voters and that led voters to scamper for safety. The Royal father of Uromi in Esan North East, HRH Anslem Edoenojie 11 was equally, reported to have been assaulted by a thug.
Significantly, at this point, we commend INEC and the INEC leadership for the forthrightness shown in conducting a peaceful election.
The following were observed during the election;
· Vote buying by all the political parties was dominant
· There was no coordination and synergy between the security agencies
· Police did not interfere even when there were seeming infractions.
· Placement of the cubicles compromised the secret ballot principle
· Election was generally peaceful
· Collation was slow at ward level
· Most of the collation centres had no electricity and collation officers are challenged by poor visibility.
· The result sheets are of poor quality and therefore, some of the figures were not legible
· Logistics for the movement of Youth corps members was not tidy leading to most of the Corpers walking long distances or arriving late to duty posts.
· Turnout was impressive
· INEC and INEC officials discharged their duties creditably.
· Security agents were courteous.
· There were a good number of unused ballot papers
· There was no display of declared results at some polling units.
WAY FORWARD AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
1. The independence of INEC must remain sacrosanct as INEC is implored to remain resolute in the defence of our nascent democracy.
2. There must be synergy and proper coordination of security agencies and their welfare.. Especially, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General DSS and NSCDC must sit up and reappraise their election duty strategies. They must be proactive in resolving inter agency issues and work collaboratively.
3. Placement of cubicles should be in such a way that voting principles of privacy will not be compromised.
4. We recommend further commitment, synergy and consultations between security agencies and statutory institutions to protect our democracy and an improvement in Ondo state.
Director Communication and Mobilization/ Leader, Observer Team