Isaac Job, Uyo
A coalition of INEC accredited domestic observers deployed to Akwa Ibom state have charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure continuous improvement of the card reader to prevent unnecessary delays during elections.
The observers who monitored the presidential, National Assembly, governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections in the state, lamented that most of the card readers were not properly configured before deployment.
Chairman of the coalition, Efemena Atutu, at a media briefing on Thursday also frowned at the militarization of the elections and called on the security agents to adhere to the tenets of their profession.
Etutu recommended the continuous improvement of the electoral process to deepen democracy and instill voters’ confidence in the ballot.
“We recommend that continuous improvement be made on the card reader so as to reduce time wastage, the card readers should be properly configured and calibrated before deployment. Security agents deployed for election duties must adhere to the tenets of professionalism and not close their eyes to malpractices.
“The undue deployment of armed soldiers should be minimized in future elections,” he added and described the elections as free, fair and credible except in few places where they were observable challenges such as late arrival of materials.
“The voters and the people of Akwa Ibom state were calm, peaceful, friendly and hospitable, except in some areas where fear of violence report was made as there was incident of fire outbreak at INEC office at Ibesikpo Asutan Locl Government Area of Akwa Ibom state.
“In some isolated places, material arrived late and due to power tussle, accreditation did not commence on time until tension had ceased. The conduct of the election was generally peaceful and there was massive deployment of security agents who did their jobs the way it ought to be, except in some areas where they were suspected to be partisan,” Etutu stated.