#AnambraDecides2017: Election monitoring groups give their observations

There are reports that some election observers who monitored the Anambra governorship election on Saturday have expressed mixed feelings over the conduct of the election.

The News Agency of Nigeria says that the Executive Director, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), Samuel Itodo expressed concern that materials for some polling units arrived late.

Mr Itodo said 28 percent of polling units recorded the arrival of materials and personnel as at 7.30 a.m., except in Awka North and Awka South Local Government Areas where materials and personnel arrive before 7.30 a.m.

Apparently, as at 10 a.m., 75 percent of the polling units were opened while voting started about 30 minutes later.

That is disturbing but as at 12 noon, 92 percent of polling units were opened.

We asked INEC to extend the deadline from 2 p.m to 4 p.m to enable people vote,” Itodo said.

He also said there were issues with card readers being unable to authenticate fingerprints, saying the development raised the issue of integrity of the exercise.

On his part, the Chairman, Partners for Electoral Reform, Ezenwa Nwagwu,  said voting started late, especially in Ogbaru Local Government Area.

Mr Nwagwu said security agents have been civil and professional in their conduct, adding also that voters have equally behaved themselves.

However, he said there were high cases of “vote buying” recorded in some parts of the state.

An observer with the Embassy of Netherlands, Harry Putker said his group would make its observations public at a later date, which would include some minor challenges which INEC needed to work on.

The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Election Working Group said in Onitsha, that the exercise began on a good note as the process started early with the arrival of materials.

All the materials, including ballot boxes, card readers, result sheets are intact and working in good condition,” Coordinator of the group, Adewale Ademola, said.

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