Election Observation Platform (EOP), a monitoring group hosted by the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) and the Human ad Environment Development Agenda (HEDA), has released its preliminary findings in Nigeria’s presidential and National Assembly elections.
In a press statement sent to SaharaReporters on Sunday, the group listed voter inducement and illegal thumbprinting as some of the irregularities that marred the electoral processes.
The group also cited ballot snatching as one of the issues that affected smooth conduct of the polls.
The statement read: “We recorded reports of voter inducement in Abeokuta, Kano, Lagos, Kogi and Sokoto. Incidents of ballot snatching and illegal thumbprinting of ballot papers were reported in PU 014, Lugbe ward FCT, Abuja; PU 006, Ward 017, Ogala in Eleme LGA of Rivers State; Ward 6,7 and 8 in Okrika, Rivers State; Baba Ewe Street, Okota, Lagos; PU 071, Ward A, Mushin, Lagos; Ward G1, Unit 036, Maxwell, Mushin, Lagos.
“However, several of the old challenges that featured in previous elections were again present in these Presidential and National Assembly elections. These include late arrival of election officials and materials at some polling units, resulting in the late commencement of the election processes, contributing to voters’ apprehension.
“Attempt to disrupt voting and result collation processes by thugs, persons dressed in military/police uniforms and political party agents in some places.
“Difficulties in the authentication of some registered voters due to malfunctioning of smart card readers.
“Cases of voting irregularities: unaccredited voters, multiple voting, snatching and burning of election materials and underage voting.
“Our preliminary assessment nevertheless shows that these challenges and malpractices were relatively low.”
However, the group said its observers across the 36 states of Nigeria also noted some high points in the conduct of the election.