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Nigeria elections fail transparency test-International observers

Nigeria elections fail transparency test-International observers

The International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) Joint Election Observation Mission (IEOM) has said the Monday Nigerian Presidential and National Assembly elections lacked transparency.

In its preliminary statement on Tuesday Malawi’s former President Dr. Joyce Banda who is leading international observers said “The mission noted that despite the reforms to the Electoral Act 2022, the election fell well short of Nigerian citizens’ reasonable expectations, while the electoral commission lacked transparency.“

“Inadequate communication and lack of transparency by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) about their cause and extent created confusion and eroded voters’ trust in the process.
“The combined effect of these problems disenfranchised Nigerian voters in many areas, although the scope and scale is currently unknown,” the ex-President added.

“Despite large crowds in some polling stations and long waits, Nigerian voters demonstrated commitment to participate in the process and a strong desire to have their voices heard,” Banda said.

Banda said logistical challenges and multiple incidents of political violence overshadowed the electoral process and impeded a substantial number of voters from participating.

NDI/IRI confirmed currency and fuel shortages imposed excessive burdens on voters and election officials while marginalized groups, especially women, continue to face barriers to seeking and obtaining political office.

The delegation observed that the late opening of polling locations and logistical failures created tensions and the secrecy of the ballot was compromised in some polling units given overcrowding.

“The combined effect of these problems disenfranchised Nigerian voters in many areas, although the scope and scale is currently unknown,” the ex-President added.

The statement, however, commended INEC for conducting the general elections according to the electoral calendar “for the first time in the country’s recent history”