Nigeria’s civil society situation room says governorship elections fell short of credible standards

The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room), a coalition of over 70 civil society organisations, has issued a statement saying that the governorship elections held in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States on Saturday, November 11, 2023, fell short of credible standards.

The Situation Room’s statement cites a number of irregularities, including:

  • Delayed commencement of polls.
  • Failure of election officials to turn up in some polling units.
  • Over-voting.
  • Failure of INEC to synchronize the record of accreditation by the BVAS with the Result Viewing Portal (IReV Portal) in real time.
  • Falsification and mutilation of polling unit-level results.
  • Transmission of results for polling units where the election was not held.
  • Voter intimidation and violence.
  • Vote buying.

The Situation Room is calling on INEC to fully review the elections in Kogi and Imo States to identify the incidents of malpractice that took place and reflect the genuine vote of the people. It is also reiterating its earlier call for an independent audit of election administration in Nigeria and compliance with electoral law by INEC.

The Situation Room’s statement will be seen by analysts as a serious indictment of INEC and the conduct of the governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States. The Situation Room is a respected coalition of civil society organisations that has been monitoring elections in Nigeria for many years.

Wider Implications

The Situation Room’s statement also raises concerns about the state of democracy in Nigeria. The conduct of free and fair elections is essential to any democracy. If the elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States are reflective of the state of elections in Nigeria as a whole, then there is a serious problem.

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