Observers highlight irregularities in Kaduna polls
Observers from six civil society organisations (CSO) have said that over 90 per cent of the polling units in Kaduna State did not paste the filled Form EC8A at the polling unit as demanded by the Electoral Act, among other irregularities.
The group, led by Emmanuel Bonet of Aid Foundation, also stated that there were reports by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials corroborating earlier reports by Senator Shehu Sani’s Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) on massive irregularities in the state.
According to the observers, though results were recorded in appropriate forms and publicly declared in most of the polling units before agents of major political parties and security agents, over 90 per cent of the results were not pasted, causing observers to beg for them.
The report presented at a press briefing in Kaduna, yesterday, by Bonet, Imam Sani and Rev. Dangiwa of Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC), Abdul Bako of Campaign for Democracy (CD), Brown Uche of Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative, Patrick Katuka of Community Trust Health Foundation, and Hajiya Amina Kazaure of Women Interfaith Council stated that over 612 observers were deployed across 255 wards within the 23 councils of Kaduna.
According to leaders of the observer groups, the press conference is convened “to make a preliminary statement on our findings from the Kaduna Situation Room that was set up with the aim of observing the presidential and gubernatorial elections in Kaduna to encourage citizens to vote peacefully, curb fake news, link security agencies with trouble spots and refer INEC to areas with concerns. “We are civil society organisations that have voluntarily come together to establish a situation room to observe the presidential and gubernatorial elections in Kaduna.”
They also observed that the voting process was peaceful and orderly in most polling units across the state, though there were reports of violence at Ungwan Ali along Abuja Road in Rigasa, Magajin Gari and Kuyello in Birnin Gwari and Kufana.“INEC officials were seen sensitising the electorate on voting procedures in many centres across the state, but did very little in enforcing the use of phones at the polling booth.
“Party agents in many polling units in Igabi, Kachia, Kaduna South, Kaduna North and Soba were reportedly carrying their registers and checking their list, which is in defiance to what the INEC chairman said.“There was general complaint about the card reader not working, malfunctioning or not available in some centres, and several calls had to be made to resolve it,” Bonet added.