Communiqué Issued By The Coalition Of Inec Accredited Election Observer Groups For The Anambra State Governorship Election, 2017 In Anambra State.
We, the INEC duly accredited Domestic election observer Organizations for the Anambra State Governorship Election, 2017, having observed the November 18th 2017 Governorship Election in Anambra State wish to make
the following statement as regards our findings and observations in the state;
Ø The Anambra State Governorship Election took place as scheduled on the 18th of November, 2017 across the State.
Ø The election was contested by thirty-seven (37) political parties/candidates, all the political parties received a level playing ground and keenly contested votes.
Ø There was an encouraging voters turnout for the election across the state against all speculations of possible boycott by voters.
Ø The Election was calm, peaceful, orderly and transparent.
Ø We observed that INEC was very careful to make available all the election materials both sensitive and non sensitive to their polling units in good time which helped in commencing the election exercise early enough as scheduled, except in few polling units where the exercise commenced a little behind scheduled due to transportation
Ø There was an open and free for all buying and selling osf votes in polling Units.
Ø There was an observation of commotion in some polling units in Anaocha, Aguata, Orumba North and South due to malfunction of the Smart Card Readers to authenticate PVCs but the timely intervention of the INEC ICT Engineers restored it to normal and smooth exercise.
Ø We also observed that the restriction of vehicular movement was well enforced by security Agencies while giving way for those on election duty and other emergency activities.
Ø There was an obvious and encouraging presence of Security personnel in all the nooks and crannies of the state which helped in ensuring peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the election.
Ø There was an encouraging participation of women in the election.
Following the above observation and to improve on our electoral process, we wish to recommend the following;
a) The Election Management Body and Government at all levels should engage committed Civil Society groups on an intensive civic voter education, sensitization and mobilization ahead of every election. This will go a long way in encouraging and improving voter participation in elections.
b) The political parties should also engage in civic voter mobilization as a proactive way of campaign.
c) Proper accreditation of party agents should be done by INEC for clear identification in polling units. The media should be well accredited also and sensitized on their election reportage to avoid overheating the polity with negative and inaccurate reportage.
d) We recommend very strongly the arrest and immediate prosecution of unaccredited observer group or groups loitering around and spreading fake information about the state and the election.
e) Priority should be given to the difficult terrains and remote LGAs, Communities, etc in the State in of distribution of election materials to ensure quick and timely commencement of election in such areas.
f) Political parties should ensure a wide spread presence of their party agents in all the polling unities for effective party representation during elections.
g) The redeployment of the Commissioner of Police and his top officers less than 72 hours to an election in an election State as was the case in Anambra State is a serious drawback to security preparations ahead of the election. We therefore recommend that such deployment and redeployment be down at least two months before the date of the election.
1. Our team commends the Election Management Body (INEC) for its wonderful preparation in providing all the needed logistics and materials on time which actually encouraged the success of the election. It goes to prove their earlier position and commitment in ensuring and giving Anambra State a free, fair and credible election
2. The Security Agencies are hereby applauded for providing a secured and peaceful environment for the election, their professional and civil relationship with the electorate is highly commendable.
3. We appreciate the people of Anambra State for their proper conduct during and after the election, especially for showing maturity and putting away the stings of violence.
4. We commend the Governor and Chief Security Officer of the State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano for standing on the path of peace and mutual understanding among politicians and political parties before and during the election even as he was severally and unconstitutionally maltreated to the point of withdrawing his security aides at the peak of the electioneering campaign.
We conclude by saying that the November 18th, 2017 Anambra State Governorship Election actually took place as scheduled under a conducive and peaceful atmosphere. The election was very peaceful across the entire LGAs visited by our teams.
We therefore adjudge it to have met the accepted standards in line with our relevant Electoral Laws. Hence the result should be accepted by all the candidates and political parties as a true reflection of the wishes and decisions of the electorates.
The losers should therefore show a good spirit of sportsmanship by sincerely congratulating the winner as we also urge the winner to extend a hand of fellowship to all other candidates for the good and rapid development of the state.
Thank you and God bless.
Comrade Kalu Victor
For the Coalition.