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CDD's Preliminary Report On Ekiti Governorship Election

By CDD West Africa

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD cddwestafrica.org) duly accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to monitor the Ekiti June 21st Governorship Election deployed one hundred and forty observers (140) across the sixteen (16) local governments in the state to observe the election. The campaign leading to the election has been heated and acrimonious.

For the purpose of the election, INEC had deployed 8,433 electoral officials to administer the election. INEC had also accredited 1,900 national and international observers for the polls. There was a massive deployment of security personnel all over the state and their presence was intimidating for many voters.

The administration of the election went very well. The logistics were well planned and there was timely arrival of electoral materials in most of the polling units visited. Subsequently the process of accreditation of voters started in most polling units between 08.00 and 08.30 a.m. Voting also commenced at about 12:30 p.m. in most of the polling units. Indeed, what we observed was that in the few cases where delays were noticed, it was due to the absence of security escorts to accompany INEC staff and sensitive voting materials. This was surprising given the massive presence of security personnel deployed for the election. An example is Aiyedade South Itaji Registration Area Camp (RA10) where as at 9.11 a.m., electoral officials were still awaiting the arrival of security agents to accompany them to their duty post, this challenge created apprehension in certain areas.

The voter's turnout was impressive considering widespread concerns that people would be intimidated by the massive deployment of security personnel. The good turnout was a testimony to the civic consciousness of the people of Ekiti.

Our observers also noticed the harassment of some journalists. The first incident, we witnessed was an assault on a journalist at Ifaki Ekiti by some security personnel at 8.02 a.m. There were subsequent reports of arrests and intimidation of other journalists. Our observers also observed the arrest of a number of people caught sharing money in return for votes at several polling units.

Another observation from our team was the refusal of some electoral officials to allow relations of very old and physically challenged people to aid them to vote in compliance with the electoral laws and INEC guidelines, Secondly, the requirement on the removal of posters of candidates ahead of the elections was not complied with as posters of candidates were seen littering many polling units across the state.

The first results of concluded elections started coming into our situation room at 3 p.m. and since then many more results have been coming in.

Idayat Hassan
Director, Centre For Democracy And Development