Interim Statement on the Edo State Gubernatorial Election
Nigerian Civil Society Election Situation Room commends the people of Edo State for coming out to vote in the 14 July 2012 gubernatorial election in the state. The zeal with which they participated in the election demonstrates the desire of the people of the State to elect their leaders through a free and fair election.
Reports received from our network of observers in the field indicate that INEC’s preparation for the election leaves room for improvements. The Nigerian Civil Society Election Situation Room observes that security agents were absent in a number of polling units, and election officials were not deployed in sufficient numbers in some polling units, prompting party agents to step in and assist the election officials in the accreditation of voters at PU 010 EBEN/NB III, Oguola primary school II, Benin City.
We are also particularly disturbed by the reports that many prospective voters were disenfranchised following the omission of their names or photograph in the voters register. The problem of late arrival of election materials and delays in the commencement of accreditation and voting, which has plagued Nigeria’s elections in the past, was also observed in many polling units. In some communities, the conflict over ownership of polling units nearly marred the election. Lastly, the Situation Room notes with dismay the unlawful arrest and intimidation of two accredited election observers by military officers in Eghor Local Government Area.
In spite of the hitches experienced in many polling units, the distribution of materials and commencement of accreditation have however been reportedly timely in some areas, accreditation and voting progressed largely in a peaceful manner. In particular, election officials and security agents deployed in the State have conducted themselves in a professional and commendable manner.
As collation of results begins, we urge INEC to carry out the process in a transparent and forthright manner. We call on political parties and candidates to respect the wishes of Edo people, which have been expressed in votes. They are to guard their statements and conduct themselves in a peaceful manner. We condole with the families of the three police officers and the INEC official that died in a boat mishap in Ologbo while carrying out election duties. The Nigerian Civil Society Election Situation Room will issue a final statement on the Edo gubernatorial election subsequently.
Nigeria Civil Society Election Situation Room
2 Okemesi Crescent, Off Oroago Crescent,