Election observer group, the Centre for Transparency Advocacy says with the “tremendous improvement” shown by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Saturday’s Osun State governorship election, the Commission has proved it is now well prepared for the 2019 general polls.
Addressing journalists in Oshogbo on its preliminary report of the election, the executive director, Chima Amadi described as satisfactory the overall improvement of INEC in the Osun governorship election by being proactive and innovative.
According to him, the 120 observers deployed by his group observed that INEC for the first time deployed men and materials to various polling booths before 8 am.
He said the 100 per cent deployment achievement by INEC is a remarkable improvement in election management, stressing that this time, INEC officials and materials were waiting for voters unlike in time past when the reverse was the case.
Chima also described the voter turnout as impressive, both in the urban, semi urban and rural areas, adding that the election was largely peaceful.
“For the first time in Nigeria, INEC introduced the use of tactile ballot for the visually impaired voters to enable the blind vote unaided,” he said. “INEC also introduced the use of magnifying glasses to assist the visually impaired and those with cases of albinism. This promotes inclusion and for every bonafide voter to have a say in the election of his or her candidate of choice.
“Equally, INEC introduced an electronic App that citizens can download from Apple store and report issues directly from the field for immediate action by INEC.”
He said the ongoing campaign to curb vote buying and selling may have yielded some positive results as it was not so brazen as it was in the case of Ekiti.
“Our observers noted that politicians and voters have evolved different clandestine means of vote buying and selling. Party agents continue to entice voters and strategically monitor voters and the thumb printed ballot papers. The efforts at eradicating vote buying and selling will have to keep up with the evolving new methods of voter enticement in order for vote buying to be effectively addressed.”
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