The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NiDO) has expressed concern over system failures during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections. However, the organization praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s determination to improve in every subsequent election.
NiDO has urged Electoral Commissioners to carry Nigerians along in the forthcoming gubernatorial and state legislative elections scheduled for March 11.
In their report, titled: United in the Pursuance of National Unity and Development – Report of the 2023 Election Observers Mission of Nigerians in Diaspora (NiDO) Worldwide on the Presidential and National Assembly Elections of February 25, 2023, they acknowledged and hailed INEC for the drive to improve the electoral process.
The report was signed by Dr Ezekiel Macham (Chairman, NiDO Americas), Dr Bashir O. Obasekola (Chairman, NiDO Europe), Dr. Chikelu Kingsman (NiDO Africa); Prof. E. Ejiogu (NiDO Asia), and Gary Linus Unamadu (NiDO Oceania).
The report reads;
“We are displeased with the systemic failure of the commission to ensure instantaneous transmission of results to IReV at the conclusion of voting at polling units, as originally planned.
“We advise that INEC and all pertinent stakeholders take urgent action to address the lapses identified in this report with a view to improving the conduct of subsequent elections, including the upcoming March 11, 2023 governorship and states’ Houses of Assembly elections. This is imperative in order to restore confidence in our electoral system and INEC.”
The NiDO stressed that-
“in some polling units, the cubicle and, most of the time, the ballot boxes are not placed at such a distance and position that will guarantee the secrecy of the voting process”.
They also added;
“We also noticed that many voters often get confused and panic when trying to identify which ballot paper goes into which ballot box, leading to them inadvertently exposing their voting preferences, thereby compromising the secrecy of the ballot.
“We, therefore, recommend that the ballot papers are of the same colour as their corresponding boxes and they should be boldly labelled on all sides.”
For competency of ad hoc INEC workers, the organisation noted that-
“the proficiency of the ad hoc INEC workers on duty at some of the polling units fell short of expectation. They seemed to lack the knowledge base and skills required to handle the process and instrument deployed”.
cc: The Nations Ng