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Kaduna: Election observers fault governorship poll results

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Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

• Urge INEC To Conduct Re-Run Polls In Areas Marred By Irregularities
Domestic observers deployed to monitor Kaduna State Governorship and National Assembly elections have faulted the outcome of the elections, which they claimed were marred with electoral malpractices.

According to the Domestic Observers, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should look into the areas where results were cancelled, card readers not used and other acts of irregularities were committed, and immediately conduct re-run elections.

The domestic observers leader, Banake Sambo who briefed journalists yesterday, on the outcome of the Governorship and National Assembly polls in Kaduna, said the elections were marred by irregularities, intimidation, vote buying, violent acts during voting, counting and collation of results. “The actions and impunity with which some electoral actors conducted themselves, using the military, INEC officials and polling agents, subvert citizen confidence in elections and threaten the legitimacy of the outcome of the elections”.

Sambo who lamented over the election process, said that election materials meant for seven polling units in Haskiya ward, Kubau local government area were hijacked by some of the political actors and no election took place in the said polling units”, pointing out that “despite that and surprisingly, election results were collated and declared at the collation center, under the protection of armed security personnel.”

He further explained, “Voter turnout was significantly low in comparison with that of Presidential and National Assembly election. As the elections progressed, our members observed irregularities in the voting processes; vote buying and voter inducement, non-usage of card readers, snatching and stuffing of ballot boxes were recorded in 13 polling units, manipulations, irregularities, falsification of results, harassments and intimidation of party agents, observer groups and the media at the collation centers and at the local government levels.”

“Observers reported a case where 54 vehicles carrying INEC stickers loaded with political thugs armed with weapons, wearing tags of a political party on election day successfully passed through over 10 security check points unabated, from Kaduna to the Southern part of the state, only to be accosted at Zonkwa by vigilant members of the public, who were suspicious of their movement.”

“It is instructive and perplexing that, despite the apparent low voter turnout across the state, number of accredited voters, and votes scored by the two major political parties are higher than those recorded during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.”


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