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Edo Polls: Centre lauds INEC conduct

Centre notes tremendous improvement in the performance of INEC

The Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of its officials and as hoc staff deployed for the Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State.

This is contained in the preliminary report of its election observation and signed by its Executive Director, Faith Nwadishi.

“We note with satisfaction, the tremendous improvement in the performance of INEC officials during this election.

“Our observers witnessed INEC Officials briefing voters on voting procedures and Covid-19 protocols. Observers also noted the cooperation extended to election observers. We also commend the INEC Adhoc staff in the preference given to Nursing mothers, pregnant women, the Elderly and PWDs in line with extant electoral regulations,” Nwadishi said.

She said that the organisation observers report indicated that on the average voter accreditation and voting commenced around 9am and that this is without prejudice to the few exceptions where voter accreditation and voting started earlier than 9am.

On voter turnout, she said, “While reports indicated a cautious turnout of voters in the early part of the day, our observers reported a gradual but improved voter turnout as the day progressed.

“Voter turnout was generally impressive especially against the backdrop of the fear of electoral violence given the intemperate and charged exchanges and attacks between the two main contending political parties in the state.”

She added that a major source of concern in terms of voters’ conduct was the lack of adherence to the COVID-19 protocols despite all the efforts of INEC Officials.

According to her, reports indicate that in most of the polling units, voters refused to observe social distancing and in many instances refused to put on their face mask despite the best efforts of INEC officials.

Though they were not allowed to vote without their masks, but that after voting, they quickly removed them and at collation time, berated INEC.

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