Posted by Ifeoma Okafor, Awka | 18 November 2017 | 1,632 times
An election observer group, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), yesterday expressed worry over the lack of cooperation existing between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies with regard to today’s governorship election in Anambra State.
Addressing journalists in Awka, the Executive Director of the group, Samson Itodo, said lack of cordial relationship between the two major stakeholders in the conduct of the exercise is likely to undermine the credibility of the poll.
He said that the integrity of the election could be compromised if the security and safety of citizens, election officials, observers, journalists, as well as the deployment of sensitive and non-sensitive materials to the polling units were not guaranteed.
His words: “The police has announced it will conduct raids on ‘black spots’ and enforce a ‘stop and search’ order during the elections. We expect the security agencies will perform their duties with a high sense of responsibility, civility, professionalism and transparency.
“The level of turnout of women and youth for voter registration was high, while the level of youth and women candidacy in the election was abysmally poor.
“50.3% of registered voters are women while 49.6% are men signalling a high level of women participation in the electoral process. Students constitute the highest number of registered voters with 48% representation in the register.
“5 out of 37 candidates are women and 4 out of 37 candidates fall within the youth bracket of 35 years.”
Itodo observed that the likely difficulties accredited observers might encounter in observing results collation in some centres particularly in centres with large number of register voters and polling units might also pose a challenge during the exercise.
While calling on the Supervising Polling Officers (SPOs) and INEC monitors to ensure that the Presiding Officers comply with the directives of posting of polling unit results at the polling unit using FORM EC 60 E. T as directed by the electoral umpire, he said that their finding showed that Aniocha, Aguata, Idemili North, Ekwusigo, Nnewi South and Orumba South LGA are flashpoints of violence.
The group however observed that reports on violent physical or verbal attacks on political party rallies and meetings remains relatively few adding that few reports of vandalism and disruption of property belonging to candidates or supporters were recorded.
•Image courtesy of Daily Times.
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