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Situation Room: INEC conducted a much improved election in Edo

Situation Room: INEC conducted a much improved election in Edo
September 21
17:41 2020

The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted “a much improved election” in Edo state.

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Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Monday, Clement Nwankwo, convener of the Situation Room, said the election in Edo state was relatively violence-free to the relief of the stakeholders.

“Situation Room commends INEC for conducting a much improved governorship election in Edo state and urges the Commission to ensure that the progress made with improvements in its conduct of the election are deepened and sustained during the Ondo state governorship election election scheduled for October 10, 2020,” Nwankwo said.

“The administration of the Edo state governorship election appears to have been a marked improvement on recent previous governorship elections. INEC’s processes appeared to operate smoothly.

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“The logistics issues of distribution of materials, deployment of staff and challenges in the voters’ register were significantly reduced. In addition, security personnel acted professionally.

“It is a relief to the stakeholders who had feared that the violence laden rhetoric of the election participants could pose a threat to peaceful elections.

“It is noteworthy that the efforts at mediating peace and reducing political tension mounted by INEC, the Police, the National Peace Committee, the Benin monarch, the Oba of Benin and civil society groups paid off. These peace efforts commend themselves to future elections.”

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Nwankwo also called on INEC to expand the use of its results viewing portal in order to deepen transparency of the country’s elections.

The convener said while the electoral body deserved commendation for introducing the COVID-19 protocols to address the public health concern caused by the pandemic, there should be more efforts on enforcement in future elections.

He said the incidents of vote buying during the elections was high and called for a “more effective enforcement of election laws that prohibit vote buying and other election offences”.

“In the Edo state election, this practice was widespread with all of the major political parties engaging in this infringement,” he said.

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The body also called on the national assembly to urgently proceed with legislative action on the passage of the electoral offences commission bill, as part of efforts to ensure enforcement of election laws.

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