Presidential Election; NBA reveals percentage of voters who rated INEC performance poor

Presidential Election; NBA reveals percentage of voters who rated INEC performance poor

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has said that only eight per cent of voters rated the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections as poor.

According to the NBA National Publicity Secretary, Akorede Lawal, the statistics was part of the interim report submitted by the NBA Election Working Group.

Lawal, who disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, said the interim report was based on the reports sent to the NBA 2023 Elections Situation Room by the NBA Election Observers from the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Lawal said generally, findings from the observation process “indicated that only a quarter of the electorate were excellently impressed with the conduct of the ballots (27.1%) while the majority of the voters (64.6%) were somewhat satisfied, only 8.2% rated the election poor or very poor.”

The report is in sync with comments made by NBA President Yakubu Maikyau on Channels TV last Saturday that despite challenges, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) performed well in the delivery of the elections.

“There were challenges, definitely. There were some infractions, some of them actually constituted electoral offences but on the whole, I will score INEC as having performed maybe about 78, 80 per cent in the delivery of these elections,” Maikyau said.

His view has been criticized by some lawyers, who scored the electoral umpire below par, just as some political parties have challenged the election results, which went in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu.

The NBA’s interim report also noted several problems with the poll, urging INEC to fix all bugs or glitches in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines before the March 11 governorship and state assembly elections.

The Bar also asked INEC to exclude its collation and returning officers with proven cases of misconduct in the February 25 elections from the forthcoming polls.

Lawal noted that the NBA deployed over 1000 INEC-accredited observers drawn from the 128 Branches of the Bar to monitor the February 25 polls.

He said: “In the main, the NBA Observers expressed some satisfaction with the conduct of the election on 25th February 2023 but have also identified major challenges that should be addressed for future elections.

“These include the late arrival of INEC officials and ballot materials at the polling stations, malfunctioning BVAS machines, limited or non-transmission of the results from the polling units to the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV), insecurity at some polling units including violent attacks on voters and officials, voter intimidation, snatching and destruction of voting materials, significant cases of vote-buying and limited access facilities for persons living with disabilities.”

He said following these observations and because of the impending governorship and state houses of assembly elections on Saturday, the NBA was urging INEC to get its act together.

The NBA urged INEC to “ensure that all bugs or glitches in the BVAS machines and other election technology are fixed and improved and that INEC staff (including collation and returning officers) with proven cases of misconduct in the 25th February 2023 election be excluded from the 11th March 2023 election.

“The Inspector General of Police is also urged to ensure the timely deployment of police officers on duty for the 11th March 2023 Elections. Political parties are equally advised to educate their members and supporters on the need to eschew all forms of actions in violation of the Electoral Act.”

The NBA also commended Nigerians for their resilience and perseverance in carrying out their civic duties during the Presidential and National Assembly elections and encouraged citizens to show the same values and resolve in the forthcoming Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.

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