The Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), an election monitoring group on Sunday, has said that the Ondo state governorship that was held on Saturday, showed significant improvement from elections previously held in the entire country.
It therefore, congratulated the security agencies and also the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for the peaceful conduct of the election.
The group that arranged about 79 observers and monitors to the election disclosed that there were improvements towards the arrival of the election materials to the units in time as well as the quick response to smart card readers’ breakdown issues.
According to a statement signed by its director, Mobilization and Public Communication/ Team Leader, Faith Nwadishi, the group described the election as generally peaceful, adding that voters’ turn-out was hugely impressive.
She said reports from field observers across polling units in the state indicated that early arrival of voting materials and personnel was the norm, adding that accreditation and voting started simultaneously about 8:30 am in most polling units.
However, she raised concern over the time of collation and reported cases of vote buying during the poll, adding that they remain pressing issues in elections in Nigeria.
She said, “We observe that five hours after elections ended in the various wards, collation is still ongoing in some wards, which will still have to proceed to local governments before reaching the state collation Centre.
However, we must state that the collation process is transparent and
is being done openly to the delight of all stakeholders.”
While calling for improved collaborations between security agencies and election monitoring groups, Nwadishi said, “Since the success of elections is dependent on strong collaborations between various actors, particularly the security agencies and the EMB, we strongly urge the hierarchy of the security agencies to take very seriously the welfare of its personnel that are deployed for elections.
This is to prevent them from being induced by desperate politicians.”
“Over all, today’s election and its conduct has raised a very high bar for the conduct of subsequent elections and admittedly and arguably, represents a greatly improved process from previous elections. We hope that politicians will step up to the plate and assume their historic roles in the conduct of free and fair elections in our country.”
“We reject instances where politicians
unnecessarily heat up the polity by raising undue alarm which usually creates panic and tension among electorates.”
“We hope that part of the much needed reforms of the electoral process will include the institution of a reprimand process that deters undue and reprehensible heating up of the polity either through actions or rhetoric,” it concluded.