A consortium of election observation groups has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its exemplary management of the recent governorship election in Bayelsa State, held on Saturday, November 11. The group, consisting of various civil society organizations, praised INEC for its professional approach, marking a significant step towards aligning Nigeria’s electoral process with international standards.
The observer group, which includes Sustainable Initiative for Nurturing Growth (SING), Women and Youth Empowerment for Global Change Initiative, and several other prominent NGOs, released a statement lauding the INEC for its efficient handling of the election process. They noted an improvement in INEC’s performance compared to past elections, highlighting the commission’s dedication to democratic principles and adherence to electoral guidelines.
The election was characterized by a high degree of professionalism and commitment from INEC officials. The smooth and peaceful conduct of the polls was seen as a testament to Nigeria’s progress in refining its electoral systems. Observers noted enhanced efficiency at various stages of the electoral process, reflecting positively on INEC’s efforts to meet the expectations of Nigerian voters.
However, the observer group did express concern over certain incidents of violence, particularly in Brass Local Government Area, which they condemned unequivocally. They emphasized that such acts not only undermine the democratic process but also endanger the lives of citizens. The group called for a comprehensive investigation into these incidents and the prosecution of all individuals involved, regardless of their political affiliations.
A specific note of concern was raised regarding allegations against Mr. Joshua Maciver, the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), accused of instigating violence in Brass. The group called for immediate legal action against Mr. Maciver if these allegations are proven, emphasizing the need for accountability in maintaining the integrity of the electoral process.
The statement concluded with a congratulatory message to Governor Duoye Diri on his electoral victory, recognizing it as a reflection of the people’s will. The observer group reaffirmed its commitment to fostering democracy in Nigeria and pledged to continue its engagement with the electoral process, aiming to further consolidate democratic values in the country.
This commendation from the observer groups is a significant endorsement of INEC’s efforts to conduct transparent and credible elections in Nigeria. It also serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges in ensuring peaceful and fair elections, highlighting the need for continued vigilance and improvement in electoral processes.