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The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has lamented the reports of alleged vote-buying in the governorship election in Anambra State.
Briefing reporters in Abuja, CDD Director of Research Sa’eed Usaini explained that despite concerns over the heavy deployment of security agents, very few incidents of intimidation and violence have been reported, defying the fear and uncertainty that preceded election day.
Usaini also said security agents were frequently absent at the commencement of accreditation in several polling units, which likely heightened uncertainty among voters and officials.
He added that persistent incidents of the failure of the Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) across numerous polling units, impaired the smooth conduct of the elections and will likely disenfranchise some intended voters.
While further saying that the lateness of officials in commencing accreditation and polling left many voters frustrated, necessitating the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) extension of the voting period until 4 pm, Usaini also said incidents of electoral malpractice, including vote-buying, have been widespread and will likely impact the credibility of results.
‘We have also noted widespread incidents of vote-buying that will likely negatively impact the credibility of the election result. CDD observers reported numerous not-so-discreet cases of ‘see-and-buy’ in polling units across the 21 LGAs of the state. In many reported cases, police officers have been alleged to have looked the other way, likely as a result of having themselves been compromised. This practice, which appears to cut across party lines, has been an increasing feature of Nigerian elections and requires more concerted remedial efforts by INEC and other critical stakeholders,’ Usaini said.
Speaking on the logistics by INEC during the election, Usaini said reports from CDD’s observers indicated widespread delays in the commencement of accreditation and voting as a result of the late arrival of poll officials.
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