A non-governmental organisation, Hallowmace Foundation has described the Presidential and National Assembly elections held last week across Nigeria as an exercise that lacks credibility.
While praising Nigerians for trooping out en masse to participate in the pools and for demonstrating enthusiasm and maintaining peace, the Foundation said the outcome of the elections in many respects fell far short of the expectations of Nigerians and the international community.
In a release signed by the Executive Director of the Foundation, Sunny Anderson Osiebe, which was made available to journalists, Monday, in Abuja, the Foundation, an INEC-accredited observer in the elections, said it deployed its staff during the elections to the entire 109 Senatorial and 360 House of Representatives collation centres across the country and had, in conjunction with other partners, undertaken several field activities to voting venues and result-collation centres.
According to Osiebe:
“Following what Hallowmace Foundation and partners gathered from the field and the pieces of information that had come in from our 24-hour round-the-clock phone-in radio programme at Armed Forces Radio, Abuja, we have completed a comprehensive analysis of what took place across the country in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“As part of our observations, the movement of electoral materials, both sensitive and insensitive ones, including the deployment of human elements, remains a big challenge to INEC and the electoral process.
The Foundation, however, advised INEC to work on the above, especially, in the forthcoming Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.
“It is public knowledge that, either through the ineptitude of INEC (Ad Hoc) staff, the willingness to undermine the electoral process or both, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), the use of this machine against the promises made by INEC, the election management body was a grand deception of Nigerians.
“This act of deception was enough reason to throw the whole country into chaos. To this end, the claims of INEC on the BVAS must be subjected to expert verification. We recommend that any sabotage in the use or misuse of the BVAS must be punished.
“Thanks to the resilient maturity of Nigerians on the day of the elections, the issue of the BVAS was actually a trigger to the kind of chaos that was calmly avoided.
“It is still surprising to note that the availability of the so-called BVAS could not stop the wanton thumb-printing and senseless rigging that had characterised the Presidential and National Assembly elections.”