The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Edo Governorship Election Observers has described yesterday’s governorship election in the state as credible, free and fair, stating that the outcome reflected the wishes of Edo people.
Giving its assessment at a press conference in Benin on Sunday, the NBA also rated the poll as peaceful, and 90 percent violence-free especially given the violence and bloodletting, which characterised the campaigns and the attendant anxiety of anarchy being let loose.
Spokesman for the group, John Aikpokpo Martins, noted in an interim report that though there was general voter apathy, the large percentage of those who eventually turned out were enthusiastic about the electioneering process with a considerable level of interest.
The group however scored the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC low over the late arrival of sensitive materials, ad-hoc staff, and other logistics to polling units.
The NBA expressed satisfaction over what it termed “substantial improvement in the deployment of Card Readers”, noting that most of the devices functioned in their optimal capacity in most of the polling units.
“The only snag we observed is the fact that the policemen were not informed that observers are part of the election process. We recommend that INEC should improve in this area of enlightenment and engagement with security forces”, the group posited.
On alleged cases of vote buying, the group claimed not to have noticed any. “We only heard about vote buying and distribution of money to induce voters; however, we did not see or encounter any of such inducements on the day of election”.