A well known observer group, YIAGA AFRICA Watching The Vote, WTV, recently revealed that the Presidential and National Assembly elections that happened on Saturday was not a better exercise than the one Nigerians partook in 4 years ago.
Disclosing its research done on the conduct of the election at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, the group concluded that the country missed a massive opportunity to improve on the election that chased GEJ as it was blemished with lots of violence and killings.
“Nigeria missed an opportunity to improve the quality of its elections. These were not the elections Nigerians wanted; they were not the elections Nigerians expected; and,most importantly, they were not the elections Nigerians deserve. Our commission must improve its capacity to deliver credible elections and our political parties must play according to the rules.”
Failure to do so could fundamentally threaten our democracy, said the Chairman of the WTV Working Group,Dr. Hussain Abdu. The text read in part: “Despite the delay,YIAGA AFRICA noted that INEC continued to experience significant logistical challenges on February 23 that resulted in late opening of polling units.
“YIAGA AFRICA’s Watching The Vote findings showed that polling units opened late throughout the country with only 41 per cent of polling units open as at 10:30am and with units in the South-South opening later than polling units other geopolitical zones.
“Once polling units opened, most polling units had essential election materials. Smart Card Readers were present in 99 per cent of polling units and were largely used throughout accreditation and voting.
“However,YIAGA AFRICA is concerned by tally sheet data gathered from its observers indicating that nearly half of voters may have voted with the Smart Card Readers authenticating only their Permanent Voters Card and not their fingerprints.
“YIAGA AFRICA also notes that counting procedures were rigorously adhered to in all polling units,and registers with particular concern that results were not publicly posted at the polling units in 19 per cent of polling units.”
”YIAGA AFRICA employed the parallel vote tabulation (PVT) methodology-the gold standard for citizen observation.”