2023 elections: INEC failed to follow up with its rules, group alleges
A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), FixPolitics, has faulted the conduct of last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), alleging that INEC failed to follow up with its rules, especially as it concerns the upload of results from the polling units.
The Executive Director of FixPolitics, Anthony Ubani, who in a statement in Lagos assessed the performance of the INEC, said the commission was not prepared for the election despite its assurance on the matter.
The commission had come under heavy criticism over its conduct of the elections with many claiming the process was marred by operational failures including malfunctioning of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) and late arrival of election materials to the polling units.
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There were also reports of result manipulations, voter suppression, and intimidation, among others during the exercise.
The statement read: “It was also as a result of this confidence that voters went out enthusiastically to cast their votes on Election Day, despite the significant challenges of access to cash and high cost of transportation for those who had to travel.
“The public even accepted the added burden of the closure of tertiary institutions as part of the sacrifice in reciprocity to the assurances by INEC of a vote that would count. Many returned from overseas to exercise their citizenship in the hope that the process would be transparent and free and that their votes will count.
“The performance and controversies over the results mean that the electoral reforms and lessons declared to have been learned were not applied and, as an electoral body, it was significantly less prepared than it claimed.
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“The failure of INEC and widespread delayed opening of polling units meant that voters, who showed up at the polling stations early, were frustrated and many voters and INEC staff were not able to locate their polling units for several hours.
“Despite the different voices of dissent to the outcome of the election, three specific complaints cut across most of them: INEC’s failure and refusal to upload presidential election results, particularly in real-time to the INEC Result Viewing Portal; the complete lack of transparency in INEC’s processes; and the failure to follow its own regulations and processes.”