Tunde Bolaji – Minna.
The recently concluded Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Niger state has been rated high by a coalition of Domestic Election Observer Groups that participated in the exercise.
The coalition also praised the Independent National Electoral Commission, Security agencies and the media for performing their duties up to expectations.
The coalition which addressed a press conference in Minna declared : “Interestingly too the security personnel conducted themselves in the best ethical and professional manner in the discharge of their assignments”.
Leader of the coalition, Comrade Mohammed Abdullahi Jabi also said that there was no case of under aged voters at the polling units visit by members of the coalition adding that “the card reader machines were deployed in record time with fully charged batteries.
“All other election materials were available in large quantity in each of the polling units and LGAs visited by our observer teams in the three senatorial districts in Niger state”.
Abdullahi Jabi also applauded the conduct of voters saying ” generally voters and the electorate conducted themselves in an orderly manner devoid of rancour or violence to ensure the peaceful process of voting at polling units”.
The coalition however observed that the ad-hoc staff engaged by INEC for the election faced some challenges among which was that some of them did not know what their roles were while some others perfected the process because of the training they went through.
Jabi said: “However the issue of ad hoc staff welfare need to be improved upon and allowance paid promptly to enable them give their best in the line of duty”.
He said the coalition had also observed that the collation of results ” is a big challenge” and has therefore recommended that for future elections INEC should adopt the use of the “modified electronic device technology to fast track the process of collation of results to save time and man hour wasted during collation exercise manually”.
The coalition Jabi said noted that ” the issue of vote buying is still prevalent among politicians and political party candidates ” adding that ” drastic action and advocacy should be intensified to curb this negative electoral tendency introduced by desperate politician into our body politics”.
Alhaji Abdullahi Jabi advised those who lost the election to ” take the civilised approach of seeking redressing court or tribunal and not to create unnecessary tension and breach of public peace”Ends.