Edo 2020: Observer Differ On Integrity of Election

September 21, 2020
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By: Patrick Ochoga, Benin City 

An Observer in the just concluded Edo Governorship election, Intercontinental Leadership Initiative, has faulted the integrity of the September 19 poll.

The Country Head of the organisation, Mr Stafford Bisong, stated this at a press conference in Benin City, Edo state on Monday.

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Bisong who said he had his officials across the 18 Local Government Area of Edo during the election, noted that none functional card readers used for the poll across State, raised integrity issue about the poll.

The Intercontinental Leadership Initiative also cited the none display of voters card five days before the election as prescribed by the electoral act.

Bisong said another finding by the organisation was late arrival of sensitive and non- materials in about 80 percent of polling units in most polling units, especially in Oredo, Ikpoba-Okha and Egor Local Government Areas of Edo.

While calling on the need for improvement on the country’s voting process, he expressed the need to display voters register on time for eligible voters to know their voting units.

According to him, “We discovered a lot of discrepancies on the field during election and we concluded that there is more to desire in our electoral voting procedure.

“Both sensitive and none sensitive materials relatively late in 80 percent of the polling units, prominent in Oredo, Ikpoba-Okha and Egor.

“Voting commenced around 1.30 pm in some parts of these polling units.

“Another one is the issue of voters register. The register was pasted just less than 24 hours to the election and this made it difficult for many to exercise before the poll.

“We again discovered that the voter’s register was not updated, as a result, this made it impossible for many not to participate in the exercise.

“Some of these people may have relocated, some, some died while Covid-19 pandemic may have kept many away.

“Finally, none functional card readers as noticed across the State led to the issue of multiple voting in parts of the polling units.

“80 percent of these card readers malfunctioned as they were not authenticating finger prints of the voters which led to manual use of authentication.”

In spite of the challenges however, Bisong said the election was fair and credible because, “Many voters turn out for.”

Bisong concluded saying that there was none adherence to the Covid-19 protocols guidelines as released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

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