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CSOs urge probe of perceived lapses in Anambra guber for improved elections

By Leo Sobechi (Abuja), Uzoma Nzeagwu and Osiberoha Osibe (Awka)
24 November 2021   |   3:27 am
A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the South East has canvassed comprehensive investigation of the failure of the Biomodal Voter Accreditation System...

[FILE] An electoral official hold-up a ballot paper during vote counting at a polling station during the Anambra State governorship election at Uga, Aguata district in southeast Nigeria on November 6, 2021. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the South East has canvassed comprehensive investigation of the failure of the Biomodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) used for the November 6, 2021, Anambra State governorship election.

The coalition, which comprised International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) and the Coalition of Democracy and Human Rights Organisations (SBCHROs), argued that the investigation would address the perceived lapses and achieve better election outcomes in the country.

Representatives of the groups insisted that such investigation, which must have national and international dimensions, should be centered on failures of the BVAS machines, their handlers and the roles played by stakeholders.

They stated this in a statement jointly issued by Emeka Umeagbalasi and Chidimma Eva Udegbunam (Intersociety), Aloysius Attah and Vincent Ezekwueme (CLO), as well as Prof. Jerry Chukwuokoro and Okezie Kelechi of SBCHROs.

They stressed that the outcomes of the investigation would help to ensure that sanctions were meted to those found culpable, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its management personnel.

The groups also expressed the hope that overhauling the departments would help dismantle the syndicate presently running critical departments of the electoral process and lead to the repositioning of INEC.

While stressing that concrete measures were necessary to enable INEC to prepare adequately for future elections, the groups said the outcomes would also help to restore international confidence in the country’s electoral process.
ALSO, Yiaga Africa has called on rights activists and media practitioners to engage the Anambra State governor-elect, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, with citizens’ charter of demands since the election was over.

A member of Yiaga Board of Directors, Dr. Ezenwa Nwagwu, made the call, yesterday, during a post-election reflection with leaders of CSOs and the media in Awka, the Anambra State capital.

Nwagwu argued that the time was ripe to monitor governance and that the only way to do so was to design pathways through which Nigerians could hold the government accountable.

He also said this was not the time to justify the Anambra election in which INEC had already declared a winner, insisting that the poll was over and charged CSOs and the media to begin engaging with communities to generate citizens’ charter of demands to confront future governments with them.

He added that Anambra people should hold the incoming administration accountable to its campaign promises, while the masses should pay attention to good governance.