Saka Bolaji, Minna
The recently concluded governorship and house of assembly elections in Niger state has been rated high by a coalition of domestic election observer groups that monitored the exercise.
The coalition also praised the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), security agencies and the media for performing their duties creditably and in the best professional manner.
Leader of the coalition, Comrade Mohammed Abdullahi Jabi, said that there were no cases of under -aged voters at polling units visited by members of the coalition, adding that “the card reader machines were deployed in record time with fully charged batteries
“All other election materials were available in large quantity in each of the polling units and local government areas visited by our observer teams in the three senatorial districts in Niger state,” he asserted.
Abdullahi also applauded the conduct of voters, said that “generally, voters and the electorate conducted themselves in an orderly manner devoid of rancour or violence to ensure the peaceful process of voting at polling units.”
The coalition however, observed that the ad hoc staff engaged by INEC for the election faced some challenges among which was that some of them did not know what their roles were while some others perfected the process because of the training they went through.
Jabi added that “however, the issue of ad hoc staff welfare needs to be improved upon and allowances paid promptly to enable them give their best in the line of duty”.
He said the coalition observed that the collation of results was a big challenge and therefore, recommended that for future elections INEC should adopt the use of the modified electronic device technology to fast track the process of collation of results to save time and man hour wasted during the manual collation exercise.