By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
Ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections on Saturday, the Election Analysis Centre (EAC) of the Centre of Democracy and Development (CDD) today implored the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to address any pending logistical issues so that voting would happen without further delays.
The EAC raised concerns about political violence, insecurity, disinformation, missing or misplaced election materials; welfare and security of ad-hoc election staff, and pointed out that leaving any of these issues unresolved could likely affect the smooth conduct of Saturday’s elections.
The Leaders of CDD and EAC stated this in its media briefing on election update coming from their field observers across the country.
“The postponement of the elections last week really affected a lot of people, particularly businesses and some voters who traveled hundreds of kilometre or even more to return to their polling units to vote,” the EAC said in a briefing at Sheraton Hotel in Abuja on Thursday.
“The speculation that the election will be rigged has created two scenarios among-st the people, a feeling of despondency and that votes will not count in some people and in others in some parts of the country a strong reason to vote and defend their votes.
“NEC and all relevant stakeholders must engage in voter mobilization to stave off apathy and the commission must increase its confidence-building measures particularly at the state levels,” the EAC stated.
Citing reports from its observers as well as researchers who conducted field group discussions, the analysis center said it finds reports of Boko Haram attacks in Yobe state and Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, troubling.
The EAC charged INEC to address the status of the last week payment for ad-hoc staff to avoid staff shortage and to ensure that all the missing or misplaced materials are rerouted to avoid shortfalls or any hitches.
It noted that reassurances on radio and television stations by INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners are not evenly spread across the country, adding that it is simply not enough to increase people’s confidence in the system.