18 November 2017

Nigeria: Anambra Guber - Observer Group Cautions INEC, Security Agencies

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Anambra decides - governorship election poster

Awka — An election observer group, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), has expressed worry over lack of cordial cooperation between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies ahead of today's governorship election in Anambra State.

Addressing newsmen in Awka, the Executive Director of the group, Samson Itodo, said lack of cordiality between the two major stakeholders in the conduct of the exercise might likely undermine the credibility of the poll.

He also attributed the minimal number of voter education targeted at youth, women and persons with disability to insufficient collaboration of INEC with other stakeholders, including the National Orientation Agency.

"The integrity of the elections could be compromised if the security and safety of citizens, election officials, observers, journalists as well as the deployment of sensitive and non-sensitive materials to the polling units is not guaranteed.

"The Police have announced it will conduct raids on 'black spots' and enforce a 'stop and search' order during the elections. We expect the security agencies will perform their duties with a high sense of responsibility, civility, professionalism and transparency," he said.

Itodo however noted that the level of turnout of women and youth for voter registration was high, while the level of their candidacy in the election was abysmally poor.

According to Itodo, the likely difficulties accredited observers might encounter in observing results collation particularly in centres with large number of registered voters and polling units might also pose a challenge during the exercise.

He urged the Supervising Polling Officers (SPOs) and INEC monitors to ensure that the Presiding Officers comply with the directives of posting of polling unit results at the polling unit using FORM EC 60 E. T as directed by the electoral umpire.

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