TMG faults conduct of presidential, National Assembly elections
• Tasks INEC To Redeem Image In March 11 Poll
The foremost election observation group in Nigeria, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), yesterday, said the conduct of February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections was poor.
It said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must review all evidences of electoral malpractices presented before the commission.
Chairman of TMG, Auwal Rafsanjani, who made this known in a post-election observation report, called on the INEC to use the opportunity of the March 11 governorship elections to redeem its image.
The report said also that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission
(ICPC) should continue with their good work to reduce vote-buying and arrest both the enablers, middlemen, and receivers during the upcoming elections.
He said: “TMG states, unambiguously, that the conduct of the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections was poor, especially the insistence of the commission to jettison immediate result transmission from polling units across the country.
“This singular act has given room for suspicion of human interference and manipulation of results and could truncate the will of the people as freely expressed at the poll. The 2023 general elections were expected to usher in a much more improved and digitised electoral process in Nigeria.
“It is in this regard that INEC received an unprecedented whooping sum of N355b to conduct a credible election. Despite this humongous financial commitment, and the incredible support received from the international community and civil society organisations, INEC failed to deliver on a straightforward mandate of meeting the expectations of Nigerians.
“As we approach the gubernatorial and state assembly elections, TMG is urging citizens to not let their spirits be dampened, and to turn out in large numbers to elect their governors and lawmakers peacefully. TMG is also urging INEC to redeem itself by conducting a much more credible election on March 11, 2023 across the country.”
TMG notes that the general conduct of the election across the country was peaceful in most parts, as voting occurred without recourse to violence.
“Notably, this was also largely occasioned by the deployment of security personnel across the country. Despite these gains, TMG in some cases observed incidences of voter intimidation and suppression, particularly in Lagos and Rivers States.
“In Lagos for instance, voters were threatened by thugs to vote for a certain party and candidate or stay away from voting completely. Voter intimidation and suppression were also evident in the violent conduct and disruption of polls as recorded in these two states where political thugs carted away, burnt, and destroyed election materials.”