A civil society organisation, Connected Development (CODE) has expressed dissatisfaction over the conduct of Saturday’s governorship election in the country.
CODE’s Chief Executive Officer, Hamzat Lawal, said this while presenting the report of its post-election findings in Abuja.
Hamzat, who said that findings came from the data of its 20, 000 observers deployed to keep a close watch on the electoral process, revealed that it recorded 30 incidents of ballot box hijacking and 50 cases of vote-buying during Saturday’s governorship election.
According to CODE’s post election findings: ”Our statistics show that there were 30 cases of ballot box hijacking across the country in the gubernatorial election, an increase from the previous election; specific results show Ahoada West LGA in Rivers State, Oshodi/Isolo LGA in Lagos State just to mention a few. Cases were also recorded in Bayelsa and Delta.
“The 2023 General Elections had 27 per cent, which is 24.9 million out of 90 million registered voters, deciding the fate of a country of over 200 million people.”
It further disclosed that although the 2022 Electoral Act was a good amendment, it sadly did not meet expectations because of human interference.
CODE also urged INEC to work on the process of the transmission of election results electronically as some results uploaded on the IREV are not clear enough.
It commended INEC for the improvement in its logistics deployment during Saturday’s governorship and State Assembly elections.
“According to the data collected by our observers through the Uzabe Platform, elections started very early in more than 70% of polling units monitored across the country. We applaud this development by the commission and we hope that we maintain this standard of timeliness going forward,” Lawal stated.
The report also revealed that violence, vote buying and intimidation of voters marred the governorship election in states such as Kano, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Sokoto, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Lagos, Ogun, Imo, Enugu, Abia, Kogi and Benue.
“It is unfortunate as well that despite the mass cry of the public for security agencies to respond to issues of intimidation, violence and voter suppression, the security agencies kept mum,” Lawal noted.
While calling on the Buhari-led Federal Government to ensure that everyone responsible for electoral malpractices are brought to book, the civil society organisation condemned the ethnic profiling that took place in most parts of the country.