BY Pelumi Bolawa
The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (NCSSR) says there were cases of vote buying and failed bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) machines during the March 18 governorship and state assembly elections.
In its interim statement on the conduct of the election signed by Ene Obi, the convener of NCSSR, the situation room said 2,340 election observers were deployed to the 774 LGAs across the country with the exemption of the federal capital territory.
The situation room comprises over 70 civil society organisations (CSOs).
“Our network of observers reported that election officials arrived at about 8:30 am in 80 percent of polling units visited while accreditation of voters began at 8:30 am in about 67 percent of polling units observed,” the statement reads.
“Situation room observed cases of BVAS malfunctioning. Incidents observed include BVAS failing to start and battery failure.
“In PU 002, Ogbaku Ward, Mbaitolu LGA of Imo State, it was observed that the voter register in the BVAS did not match the printed voter register for the polling unit.
“On the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) results viewing portal (IReV), the review showed two uploads for PU 068, Ojugbe Town Hall, Abuloma-Amadi Ama Ward, and PU 029, Ward 07, both in Port Harcourt Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“The first is a photograph of a person and the second is an uncompleted result sheet.
“On election security, at the time of this report, the body observed tension in about five percent of polling units.
“These tensions include destruction of election materials, disruption of materials distribution, arguments and quarrels between party agents, and fighting among party supporters.
“We observed the presence of security personnel in 82 percent of polling units observed. The Situation Room also observed security personnel intervening to quell some of the tensions in the polling units and commends this intervention while advocating for vigilance and action against incidents of vote buying.
“There are also reports of voter inducement through sharing of money and food items as well as a collection of bank account details of voters.”