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Statement By The Electorial Reforms Experts Group (EREG) on FCT Aread Council Election



Statement By The Electorial Reforms Experts Group (EREG) on FCT Aread Council Election And Ife Central State Constituency Bye-Election Help On 9th April, 2016...
The Electoral Reforms Expert Group (EREG), a coalition more than 40 civil society organizations after monitoring the aforementioned elections in a wide number of polling stations across the 6 area councils of the FCT and Ife Central state constituency do holds as follows:

1. The FCT elections were held in accordance with standard global electoral best practices , extant electoral laws and a high commendable and much improved sense of organization on the part of the Election Management Body, INEC.

2. It is the consensus of the EREG that the election process was calm and peaceful across the FCT. We commend the good people of Abuja for their peaceful and orderly conduct during this electoral process. The voting process was observed to be well organised. Voters had full access to polling stations; vulnerable groups like persons with disabilities and nursing mothers were given preference in voting access and there were no major incidents reported by our observers. However, the report of missing ballot sheets in Dabi led to the rescheduling of the poll in that polling unit till tomorrow 10th April, 2016. This bold decision of INEC to reschedule the poll in this polling unit is commendable. 

3. Emphatically, INEC’s preparation for the elections and the voting processes was impressive as logistics arrived on time and accreditation and voting started as scheduled in all observed polling units in the FCT and Ife Central in Osun state. 

4. The continued system of simultaneous accreditation and voting maintained by INEC has proven to be invaluable for a hitch free electoral process as it was observed on the field that this system of voting is better appreciated by the voters and allowed for a seamless conduct of elections. 

5. Another important observation is the engagement of the Union of Okada riders by INEC in deployment of materials to areas with difficult terrains such as Kuje Kwa , Kabi Kasa ward. Kudun Karya , Yanche, Gawu , Yaba and a host of others which are mountainous and without vehicular access roads. This innovative and bold initiative eased transportation concerns to those places which otherwise would have been near impossible to reach by other means and disenfranchised residents in these areas.

6. The EREG however noted that voter turnout was not as large as that of the 2015 general elections in the State, especially in the city centre. This, in our view, is as a result of the inadequate publicity and awareness for this exercise. 

6. Finally, security presence and conduct for this election is commendable as there was largely adequate number of security personnel to man polling units.

7. There were no major incidents of card reader failure during the voting process and in very isolated cases where the card reader did not read the thumb print of voters, incidence forms were readily available. 

 8. In Ife Central in Osun state, all the polling units observed opened at 8am and accreditation and voting subsequently followed without any events.

Based on the above stated preliminary observations, the EREG commends INEC for a well executed election in the FCT and Osun state ; this is unarguably evident that if politicians play by the rules, INEC will always get it right. 

For EREG

Ezenwa  Nwagwu ………..Partners For Electoral Reform

Jaye Gaskia ………..Say No Campaign

Dr Amadi Chima ……Centre for Transparency Advocacy

Opeyemi Azeez: Justice Watch
Nnamdi Orji: Alliance for Democratic Advancement
Ayuba Ephraim: Get Involved Campaign
Somoye Adekunle: Forum for Credible Elections
Yomi Balogun: Vanguard for Electoral Reforms.

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