National Voters Drive Coalition (NVDC) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to consider the rerun of elections in areas where disruptions occur instead of cancelling the results.
Godbless Otubure, the spokesperson for the group, said this at a news conference in Abuja.
“We advocate rerun of election in these locations instead of cancellation because, by cancelling elections in these polling units, INEC essentially disenfranchised the voters,” said Mr Otubure.
He added, “Having acknowledged the importance of technology in our electoral system, we call on INEC to fully utilise the BVAS in accreditation and transmission and ensure professional conduct of its staff in the organisation of the governorship and house of assembly elections. INEC staff should endeavour to arrive at the polling units ahead of time for an on-time start.”
According to Mr Otubure, the February 25 elections were widely anticipated, given the unprecedented number of major contenders and the promise of more transparency with the BVAS.
“We applaud the work of INEC, but we are blinded to the logistical challenges such as delayed arrival of INEC staff in over 75 PUs, lack of preparedness such that electorates had to purchase inks and markers for INEC officials,” Mr Otubure explained, including failure of presiding officers to upload PU results to BVAS, delay in transmission of PU results to INEC result viewing portal.
“We hope that there have been lessons learnt and that necessary steps are in place to avoid a repeat of logistical shortcomings,” he said.
Mr Otubure called on Nigerians to come out en masse to vote and monitor their votes to avoid result manipulation and to elect leaders that would be more accountable to the people regardless of age, gender, and ethnicity.
He also appealed to security agencies saddled with the responsibility of ensuring a hitch-free election to discharge their duties with diligence and honour.
Mr Otubure said the March 18 elections had given Nigerians another opportunity to decide who would lead them at the state level, urging citizens to make the most of it and make the elections a reflection of their wishes.
“We must not give up on this key assignment: go out on election day, cast your votes and stay peacefully. Let us all be part of rebuilding our nation,” he said.
NVDC is a non-partisan citizen-led coalition created to address voter apathy in Nigeria.