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What observers have said about Nigeria’s general elections

Various observer missions monitoring the Nigerian elections have given their preliminary assessments of the process so far.

Tensions have been high as Nigerians anxiously wait for the final results of Saturday’s general elections.

The electoral commission has been announcing state-by-state results but is yet to make significant progress in declaring the winner of the presidential election.

The head of the ECOWAS Observation Mission has said that the voting process was marred by irregularities.

“The late start of voting beyond the 8:30 a.m. opening time due to the late arrival of polling officials, voting materials, and in some cases, the delivery of wrong materials at polling stations across the country,” Ernest Bai Koroma said.

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Lack of transparency

The European Union has also criticised the lack of transparency and operational failures in the electoral process.

It said there was confidence in the independence and professionalism of the electoral body during preparations for the elections.

But public trust waned over lack of efficient planning and effective communication in the process – including on the election day, the observers said.

The observers noted that some poll centres opened late and polling procedures were not always followed.

They said the uploading of the results using an electronic system did not work, raising concerns as transmission of presidential election results forms was delayed.

The observer team has urged stakeholders in the election to uphold peace until the process is completed and called for any disputes arising to be addressed through legal channels.

Opposition parties protest

On Monday some of the opposition parties who were unhappy with the conduct of the result declaration process staged boycott.

They walked away from the national collation centre on Monday challenging the credibility of the process.

The former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the country’s electoral body to save the country from “a looming danger” over what he described as corruption of the electoral process.

In a statement, he said tension was building up and asked President Buhari Muhammadu, “let all elections that do not pass the credibility and transparency test be cancelled”.

He said the Independent Electoral Commission’s (Inec) decision to revert to the use of a manual transmission of results was deliberate despite spending a lot money to introduce an electronic system that would allow immediate transmission of results from polling units.

“It is no secret that Inec officials, at the operational level, have been allegedly compromised to make what should have worked not to work and to revert to the manual transmission of results which is manipulated and the results doctored,” he said.


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