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Group wants gains of Ekiti governorship election consolidated, lauds peaceful conduct

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 A group Women s Situation Room Nigeria WSRN has called on stakeholders in the nation s political sector to consolidate on some of the gains achieved during the Saturday s Governorship election in Ekiti Prof Joy Onyesoh the WSRN Convener made the call in the organisation s preliminary report on the conduct of the election released to the News hellip
Group wants gains of Ekiti governorship election consolidated, lauds peaceful conduct

NNN: A group, Women’s Situation Room Nigeria (WSRN) has called on stakeholders in the nation’s political sector to consolidate on some of the gains achieved during the Saturday’s Governorship election in Ekiti.

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Prof. Joy Onyesoh, the WSRN Convener, made the call in the organisation’s preliminary report on the conduct of the election released to the News Agency of Nigeria in Ado-Ekiti.

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Onyesoh said that consolidating on the gains and lessons of the poll would make the upcoming July Governorship election in Osun a seamless process.

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The WSRN boss, however, said voting buying remained a menace and stumbling block towards achieving a free, fare and credible elections, saying, “more proactive measures need to be put in place ahead of Osun election”

Onyesoh commended political stakeholders for achieving a relatively peaceful election process in Ekiti.

She said the organisation in collaboration with UN Women and Government of Canada deployed 60 women to monitor and observe the elections across the 16 local government areas of the state.

Onyesoh said WSRN had earlier conducted some pre-elections activities such as rapid assessment, advocacy and courtesy visits, stakeholders dialogues, peace walk, among others.

According to her, these activities were geared towards reducing violence against women and also to promote women’s substantive participation in electoral process.

“It is noteworthy that the Ekiti Governorship elections 2022 will be the first election to be conducted using the newly signed Electoral Act 2022, which provides an opportunity for an assessment of the implementation of the new Act,” she said.

Enumerating some of the organisation’s observation in the election, Onyesoh said “we had reports from our observers of timely commencement of the elections process across 90% of the polling units.

“There were few reports on issues centered on the BVAS malfunctioning and an aberration in the accreditation and voting processes.

“For instance in Ado Ekiti LGA. ward -7 unit -2 , the number of voters were over 2,800 yet the number of BVAS present was just 1.

“This caused rowdiness in the poling unit and disenfranchising some voters from casting
their votes.

“The issue was escalated and INEC deployed an extra BVAS device to that unit.

“In Ado Ekiti polling unit 001 ward 6, fingerprints were sparsely used for accreditation. It was more of taking of photograph on presentation of the PVC and uploading.”

Onyesoh said that according to a report by WSRN observers, there was timely arrival of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials and materials in majority of the LGAs.

She said the observers also reported the late arrival of security agencies in some polling units such as in LGA Ward 4, Unit 1 , Ekiti East Ward 2, Unit 6, Ekiti West Ward 2, Unit 19.

“Additionally, at the time of the commencement of elections in these LGAs, the report from our observers was that security agencies were not present.

“BVAS performance we got feedbacks from the observers of 90% functionality of the BVAS and the few cases of malfunction was immediately handled by the INEC team.

“Another incident we identified with the use of the BVAS was in Moba LGA , Unit 5, Ward 1, the INEC team were using the BVAS to scan just the PVC which was not bringing up details of the voters, hence disenfranchising many,” she said.

On voters participation, Onyesoh quoting from INEC data, said out of the total population of 3,270,800 citizens in the state, 989,202 voters were registered for the elections and 720,745 collected their PVCs.

She also said over 360,000 voted in the governorship election, with women having a good participation.

She said the organisation was still collating data and would be sharing more in its final report.

Onyesoh revealed that few cases of violence against women were reported in some polling units.

“In as much we did not get specific reports on violence against women in the LGAs, we observed in few polling units some forms of violence.

“An instance was identified in Ado-Ekiti Ward 7, Unit 2 where we saw a large crowd of close to 2,000 persons and women being pushed while voters were struggling to vote due to the extended time it was taking to attend to the large number of voters with just one BVAS.

“There were reports of physical violence in Ado-Ekiti LGA Ward 9,Unit 13 in Ifelodun LGA, Ward 9, Unit 6 and in Moba LGA Unit -9, Ward 1.

“Few cases led to physical violence which were resolved by the security agencies.

“In Ado-Ekiti LGA Ward 13, Unit 11, our observers reported on a man being picked by DSS on grounds of vote
buying,” she said.

She said reports from the observers further showed that 45 per cent of the polling units were not easily accessible to persons living with disabilities.

According to her, most of the polling units were placed on high areas with little to no provisions for others such as those with hearing impairment and the visually impaired.

NewsSourceCredit: NAN

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