Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
The Coalition of Domestic Observers in Kebbi State have berated the high number of invalid votes recorded in the last election across polling units in the state.
The group, who stated their observations during a press conference in Birnin-Kebbi, noted that there was improvement in the functioning of card readers during the governorship and state house of assembly election compared to the presidential and national assembly elections.
Leading the team, Nurud Musa from Centre for Policy Advocacy and Leadership Development (CPALD), commended the presence of “security personnel at various polling units within the state.
“Majority of voters cast their votes in a peaceful manner. The collation of results was organized in accordance with the rules and regulations governing the process. There were high cases of invalid votes at various poling units in the state.
Adding to the remarks, Musa advocated “for frequent voter education in the state so as to avoid high cases of invalid votes.”
The Observers, who cut across ten different organisations, highlighted the low voter turnout in the governorship and house of assembly elections compared with the presidential and national assembly elections held two weeks earlier.
According to them, “during the election process, voter turnout was relatively low compared to the presidential election, but there was improvement in the use of smart card readers, as the cases of failure to authenticate voters was relatively low.”
While seeking for improvements in logistical arrangement from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Observers noted that such improvements would avoid postponements of future election.
They commended the Commission for the commencement of the election process at the stipulated time across the state, stressing that sensitive and non-sensitive materials were distributed to various Registration Area Council and Polling Units on schedule.