…As European Observers Reacts On The Conduct Of General Election
By Simeon OSAJIE
After INEC conducted the election and begin collation of result, there were clearly some obstacles and hurdles the commission had to scale through after Labour Party (LP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cries foul play by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials.
Some opposition parties, such as the Labour Party and the People’ s Democratic Party, are questioning the legitimacy of the election as it is being called and the results are being announced.
Meanwhile, the head of the US Election Observers, Ambassador Mark Green, has commented on the way the elections were conducted.
Mark Green stated that Nigerians still have faith in democracy in an exclusive interview with Arise News. He claimed that the election was not fair.
He claims that INEC’s handling of the 2023 election represents a lost chance to advance democracy.
He continued by insisting that INEC’s efforts to strengthen democracy have fallen short due to poor planning and execution.
Truly, there could have been no way scarcity of fuel and cash wouldn’t affect smooth operation of the election. Some INEC officials got to their assignee polling units late, buses ferrying sensitive election materials stocked in middle of nowhere and many other logistics crisis faced the commission.
However, the European observers blamed a number of things for INEC’s inability to run the elections smoothly. The observation reads “On 25th February, Nigerians went to the polls in highly anticipated presidential and National Assembly elections that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) kept on schedule despite a volatile and challenging environment.
“Fundamental freedoms of assembly and movement were largely respected, yet the full enjoyment of the latter was impeded by insufficient planning, insecurity and the prevailing Naira and fuel shortages. Abuse of incumbency by various political office holders distorted the playing field and there were widespread allegations of vote buying.
“Media provided an extensive coverage of the three leading campaigns, while disinformation interfered with voters’ right to make an informed choice on Election Day. The EU EOM is continuing its observation of the ongoing collation and tabulation of results throughout the country.
“INEC’s operational capacity was hampered by the ongoing fuel and Naira shortage. Insecurity prevented it from accessing some Local Government Areas (LGAs), notably in the South. Attacks on INEC premises, including just days before polling, hindered preparations in affected areas, while instilling fear in voters.
“Overall, stakeholders had expressed confidence in INEC’s independence, professionalism, and voter information efforts, but this decreased ahead of elections. INEC lacked efficient planning and transparency during critical stages of the electoral process, while on Election Day trust in INEC was seen to further reduce due to delayed polling processes and information gaps related to much anticipated access to results on its Results Viewing Portal (IReV).”
What European observers said sparked serious on Twitter;
@ukuwu said, “This is best providing a soft landing for INEC violation of the Electoral Act. We still await the full report and your sanctions on INEC and erring parties for breaking the law on electoral processes.”
@somidotun said, “Fuel and Naira shortage are artificial issues strategically manufactured for purpose, we tapped up Nigerian citizens at the time the CBN devious policy was launched but many believed it will help eliminate vote buying. This election is a sham, a total scandalous quest”.
@austine said, “What use are you guys? #EndSARSProtest y’ all did nothing everytime we’ve called upon you guys, it’s just as if a complete waste of time’ .
@iyamchris said “Great observation, howbeit, certain events are not found here, amongst them are the numerous reports by INEC/party agents of results altercations, this issue alone if dealt with at a rate of eighty percent would be very substantial, also the inability of reading the uploads.”
@kemizz said, “Why are you guys shocked? Is elections in Nigeria ever any different? Yet you keep encouraging elections in Nigeria instead of referendum for the indigenous tribes to properly build their countries. | am tired of you people too. Be honest with yourselves for once #EndNigeriaNow”
@truenija said “I’m proud we had a free and fair elections if not, the sitting President won’t lose his state, the ruling Party’ s candidate who is leading won’t lose his state, sitting Governor’s won’t have lost to mention few. If anything, are videos of LP rigging. Thank you”.