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Election Monitor report on 2016 Ondo Governorship election



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The EMAOG was involved in pre-election observations from the beginning of April 2016 to 25thNovember 2016 in order to collect information on the state of preparedness of INEC, the security agencies and other stakeholders for the November 27th 2016 Ondo State Governorship Election. Election Monitor also undertook a review of the broad political and electoral environment in order to assess whether or not a conducive environment existed forthe conduct of transparent, credible, free and fair elections in accordance with International Principles.

On Thursday 17th November 2016, Election Monitor organised a one-day Election Results Analysis Training for Political Correspondents towards the 2016 Ondo State Governorship Election. The key reason for this training program is to provide the political correspondents with the necessary skills to accurately analyse election results data with a view to increasing the quality of pre-election, Election Day and post-election reviews and assessments. The training was targeted at journalists involved in election coverage.

On the 18th November 2016, Election Monitor made a public presentation of its Research Guide in Abuja. This was also an opportunity for dialogue of diverse stakeholders with top INEC officials, which included directors, and a representative of the INEC Chairman. Organisations represented at this meeting include international donor organisations, civil society groups, media, observer groups, consultants and voters. It was at this meeting that INEC officials reassured participants that there would be strict compliance to its guidelines on usage of smart card readers and that the 2016 Ondo State Governorship Election would not be postponed.

The 2016 Ondo State Governorship Election is the fourth governorship election to hold after the conclusion of the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria. During the pre-election period, there were calls for INEC to have a fully constituted board, which was eventually acquiesced by the Federal Government (FG). Six National Commissioners have been nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari and approved by the National Council of State and have been subsequently screened and confirmed by the National Assembly though not yet sworn in asof the time of the election conduct. This has completed the total number of 12 commissioners required to fill the INEC board.

However over twenty-eight vacant positions for State Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) are yet to be filled.

Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) for Ondo State commenced on the 22nd June and ended on the 26th June 2016. Permanent Voter Card (PVC) Distribution in Ondo State was done from Friday, 11th November to Tuesday, 15th November, 2016 (for those who participated in CVR).

The Observer Group’s assessment of Election Day is based on the actual findings and reports by Election Monitor observers who were deployed to 72 polling units in the various LGAs.

Distribution of election materials at Super RACs (Registration Area Centres).
Distribution of election materials to polling officers at the various Super RACs had commenced as early as the evening of Friday 25th November 2016 into the morning of Election Day.

All polling units visited by Election Monitor observers had sufficient materials provided.
Manual accreditation was not observed in any polling unit by EM observers.

The problems observed with smart card readers during the 2016 Ondo Governorship Election are as follows:
• Finger print rejection (this was the single greatest problem observed with the card readers).
• PVC rejection
• Network
• Card reader stopped working and started again
• Slow operation

Some other problems observed during accreditation and voting are as follows:
• Voter unable to find name on register of voters
• Intrusion of thugs into the polling unit
• Polling officials did not reply to voters on time
• Non-use of incidence form even when finger print rejections were observed

The Observer Group observed that the voter turnout was generally quite low across polling stations visited. However the voter turnout based on accredited voters was 35.5% (about 1%less than for the Bayelsa, 2% less than Kogi 2015 Governorship Election and about 3% more than the 2016 Edo Governorship election) while the turnout based on total votes cast was 35.25%.It is clear that these figures are less than the voter turnout in the 2012 Ondo State Governorship election (38.1%) and the 2015 Presidential Election in Ondo State (38.8%). This relatively average turnout should not be interpreted primarily in terms of voter apathy but as a relatively true representation of the voter turnout.


The Ondo State Collation Centre was not too adequate (space) for all stakeholders even though it was an improvement from the Edo State collation centre.
Around 2pm on the 27th of November 2016, the final results were released and the APC candidate Barrister Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu was returned as winner.

This section will take a look at the results of the 2016 Ondo State Governorship election and also seek to analyse the data and compare with previous elections to deepen insight into the quality of this election.

The final results were declared in the afternoon of Sunday 27th November 2016 and they can be found on the following page. The results were declared by the Chief Returning Officer Prof. Abdul-Ganiyu Ambali, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Kwara State.

Clearly it can be seen that the number of cancellations in the 2016 Ondo State Governorship election is the lowest which shows that there was a high level of compliance with election day regulations.