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RECs, observers, security operatives, others decry slow collation of results

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A collation officer along with INEC members (Independent National Electoral Commission) gather at a Local Government Area of South Kaduna on February 24, 2019, as they recount the election results before sending them to Abuja. – Nigeria awaited results from its presidential election, as civil society groups warned that disorganisation and violence may have undermined the polls. Results from February 23, 2019 vote were expected to trickle in to Abuja after being collated at the state and local levels. (Photo by CRISTINA ALDEHUELA / AFP)

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bayelsa yesterday said the snail speed collation of results of the presidential and National Assembly elections was largely due to the difficult terrain of the state.

The Head of Voter Education and Publicity Department, Wilfred Ifogah, told reporters in Yenagoa that the commission was also conducting supplementary polls for 39 units in Ogbia and Sagbama local councils of the state.

He said voting in the fresh elections commenced at 12:00p.m. and ended at 6:00p.m.

“Yes, some results have started coming in, but you know the terrain and even as I am talking, election is ongoing in some wards and units in different local government areas.

“The elections in those areas were rescheduled due to smart card readers’ (SCRs) malfunctioning and mix-ups in some units.

“A total of 39 polling units were affected in Sagbama and Ogbia local government areas. Voting is ongoing today (yesterday), February 24, 2019, and will stop at 6:00p.m.,” he clarified.

This comes as Governor Seriake Dickson commended the people of Ekeremor and Twon Brass for taking part in the electoral process for the first time.

He attributed the development to his administration’s relentless advocacy for the respect of fundamental human rights and the creation of a conducive atmosphere for political participation in the state.

Besides, the Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Sam Olumeko, said the process was holding between 8:30p.m. and 9:00p.m. yesterday.

Addressing some All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains, led by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tunji Bello, deputy governorship candidate, Obafemi Hamzat, and Ademola Seriki, the INEC official regretted the delay, stating that only four council areas had delivered their results.

He assured the delegation that everything was being done to hasten the process.

On his part, Seriki, urged Olumeko to fast-track the exercise because of other engagements.

Also yesterday, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Taraba, Alhaji Baba Yusuf Anna, has expressed dismay over what he termed the “lukewarm attitude” of persons collating the results of the elections in the state.

As at the time of filing this report, results from most parts of the state were yet to arrive Jalingo, the state capital for collation.

The situation at the zonal headquarters of the three geo-political zones, as gathered, was not different either, as the outcomes were said to be trickling in.

The REC, who expressed his frustration at the Taraba North collation centre located within the premises of Jalingo local council, charged the affected officials to make haste in concluding the process.

He wondered why the exercise was taking too long a time when a number of states, according to him, had completed theirs.

Also, election observers and security operatives expressed dismay over the development.

Citing the mix-ups and delay that characterised the balloting, an observer noted: “we expected the commission to have by now learnt from the mistakes by facilitating the immediate collation of the votes.”

A security personnel equally stated: “ We thought INEC would do everything possible to make sure that collation was done during day time.”


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