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Elections: ActionAid lauds INEC’s performance


The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) improved in terms of logistics and usability during the elections on Saturday, according to ActionAid Nigeria.

According to the report, the BVAS ran smoothly in 80% of the country’s polling places.

Celestine Odo, the programme director for governance at ActionAid Nigeria, made this statement while presenting the results of the organization’s election observation at a news conference in Abuja.

In comparison to the presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25, according to Odo, Saturday’s election was a huge improvement.

“The conduct of the election was impressive given the early arrival of election materials; we observed that deployment of election materials in states started since Wednesday.

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“This was great compared to the deployment of materials that started on Friday during presidential election.

“Regretably, the voter turnout for the election was low, it is obvious that voter apathy has set in given what happened during the last election,” he said.

Odo said that due to naira scarcity, political parties resorted to vote buying in states like Kano with wrappers and food items, while in Rivers and Enugu states, it was done in different form.

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“From the reports we are getting, we did not see much of cash exchange, what we are told is vote buying with wrappers, food items, chicken among others,” he said.

Odo said that there were pockets of violence in 10 locations recorded in Rivers, Kano and Lagos states.

ActionAid Nigeria Director of Programmes, Suwaiba Dankabo, said that voter turn-out, including women, was low, but hailed security presence at the polling units.

Mr Andrew Mamedu, Director Resource Mobilisation and Innovation, ActionAid Nigeria, added that overall, the turnout of voters was lower than the presidential election.

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Mamedu said that was why civil society organisations have been advocating for the conduct of elections in states before national.

He said that election should be bottom up so as to sustain the momentum.

The director also said that there were reports of voter suppression and intimidation, as well as disruption of election in some polling units.

He, however, said that security agencies responded well and supported citizens to exercise their franchise. (NAN)