NGO asks NEC to come clean on cancellation of elections

An Abuja based Civil Societ organization (CSO), the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make itself clear on cancellation of elections.

Speaking on behalf of the organization, Idayat Hassan, director of CDD, cited instances of lack of clarity in the national assembly and presidential elections while addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, TheCable Nigeria reports.

She emphasized that the collation of result was “very very sluggish” and in several instances, calculations were wrong with mutilations and various writings on the results sheets.

Hassan urged the commission to tackle logistics challenges that affected the February 23 polls, including delays resulting from late arrival of election materials and personnel as well as the inability of officials to move election results from polling units to the Collation centres due to lack of transportation.

She asked INEC to ensure that election officials use smart card readers nationwide, describing the none use of card readers as a violation of INEC’s guidelines.

“Smart card readers must be made compulsory nationwide rather than in some parts of the country and zero votes must be recorded for all polling units where the SCRs are not used,” Hassan said.

“The patchy use of SCRs further cause voting delays that could affect the smooth conduct of the elections.

“Despite the assurances by the election management body that it was ready to conduct the election on February 23, there were significant delays in the opening of polling units and insufficient materials across the country when voting did get underway on that day.

“More so, Election Day was characterized by localized incidents of voter intimidation, ballot box snatching/destruction and general voter apathy as the national voter turn out rate dipped from 43.7% in 2015 to just 35.6%.”

CDD also condemned the “do-or-die attitude” of the political class who sometimes use thugs to disrupt voting, and asked political parties to educate their agents and supporters on the need to adhere to the code of conduct for smooth conduct of polls and collation of results.

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