THE Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC)’s poor showing on logistics at the ongoing Anambra gubernatorial elections offers critical lessons for subsequent polls, analysts say.
Apart from delays in the delivery of sensitive materials, the gubernatorial election has also witnessed huge challenges with the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS), with some electoral officials still learning the ropes on efficient operations of the device.
These concerns, analysts say, offer huge lessons for the INEC, especially now the National Assembly has passed bill supporting electronic transmission of results.
“There’s room for the commission to improve on the electoral process and logistics concerns in order to give validity to a credible electoral process,” former Director of Voter Education and Publicity at the INEC Oluwole Osaze-Uzzih said in a monitored Arise Television broadcast on Tuesday.
He stressed the importance of the electoral body sorting out all the concerns as Nigeria prepares for other staggered elections and the 2023 general elections.
“INEC would have to work on several loopholes identified in this election to put the nation on a defined path for a credible elections in the country.
“We must take the discussion further in finding a lasting solution to technology in our elections despite the challenges that confronts us presently.”
Speaking further on the development, spokesperson for the Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Alex Ogbonnia also expressed concerns on the delays in the supplementary election.
“I share my disappointment in the developments in Ihiala Local Government Area.This is election that INEC told us of their early preparations. Despite all those assurances, despite the fact that the election is being held in one local government area, we’re yet to find the officials on ground early enough.
“It’s not a good development. We’re taking off late.
“Let’s pray people are not stampeded out of the polling centres and disenfranchised,” he said.
Speaking in a similar vein, an election observer Celestine Okwudili, who is in the situation room, said that the logistics situation was not encouraging.
“We thought that before 10.am INEC would have set up everywhere preparatory for the elections. Unfortunately, as at 12.noon, nothing was on ground.
“This is just a local government election. Recall, the previous polls on Saturday, we tried to deal with the situation and accepted all manner of excuses.
“However, I don’t think there’s any excusable reason in what is happening today.”
Arise TV News Analyst Emmanuel Efeni, who also spoke in the monitored broadcast, said the commission had had to deal with issues of logistics – a major weak point in the Anambra gubernatorial elections.
“Again, this is INEC not living up to expectations when it comes to logistics.This led to the shifting of the elections from the usual 8.am to 10.am, which is expected to give them ample time, yet we’re still experiencing hitches in the delivery of sensitive materials despite assurances by INEC that the material is already at the local government secretariat earlier before now.
“This is 12.30pm and this Eziani Primary School being showed by our correspondent where you have two polling units, yet voting hasn’t commenced,while officials arrived not too long ago.
“This is one problem INEC has to deal with which has been recurring over the years. It is something that INEC has to deal with this issue.”
The independent National Electoral Commission rescheduled the supplementary election for Ihiala Local government Area for Tuesday.
Analysts say the leading candidate and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Chukwuma Soludo, who flies the the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) flag, could emerge winner of the election, having won 18 out of 21 local government areas.