‘Collation of results major weak point in election management, administration’
The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has stated that the collation of election results remains a major weak point in Nigeria’s election management and administration.
Situation Room, in its third interim statement signed by its Head, Mr. Clement Nwankwo, alleged that in Rivers State, it received numerous reports of security agencies interfering in the collation process, deliberate targeting of election and collation officers and making their way to the state collation centre.
He added: “One example is in Andoni Council, where the EO (Election Officer) was targeted, and in Ebonyi, ward collation was abandoned. The Imo State governor is also reported to have seized collation officials in Ideato South Council in an attempt to force announcement of favourable results.
“The exclusion of accredited election observers and party agents from accessing collation centres was reported in Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Zamfara states.”
According to the body, reports received from its observers showed limited incidents of Smart Card Reader malfunction and where there were failures or glitches, efforts were made by INEC to rectify the problem.
It maintained that there were also reports of significant logistics improvements in the governorship election, especially as it relates to timely delivery of electoral materials and polling units having the complete set of election materials, adding: “Situation Room acknowledges the efforts of INEC at improving on the average starting time of opening polls. The start time for the elections was on the average at about 8:30am.
“However, there were also accounts of late commencement in few instances, for example in Badagry, Lagos State, Nembe Council of Bayelsa State and some councils in Rivers State.”
Situation Room said it was worried about reports of excessive military involvement in Nigeria’s elections, particularly in the South-South and Southeast- Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Imo, adding that the militarisation of the country’s electoral process is a troubling one, as it is not just about the presence of military officers, but the actions of our intelligence agencies, the use of the military by the political class and the partisanship and non-recourse to rules of engagement of the armed forces.