Huge vote-buying, voter apathy, suppression marred March 18 elections — CODE

The Connected Development,  CODE, has declared that vote-buying, violence and voter apathy have marred the governorship and state assembly elections across the country.

Hamza Lawal, the founder and chief executive officer of the CODE, made the declaration on Saturday while addressing newsmen on the conduct of the elections across the country.

According to him, voter inducement occurred more during this Saturday’s elections than during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections,  describing the development as a fall out of the compliance with the Supreme Court order for the use of old Naira notes.


Mr Lawal also condemned the violence and attacks on voters in Ebonyi, Lagos and other states across the country.

He said: “First, let me iterate that we condemn in strong terms the attack and suppression of voters in a number of polling units.

“For example, in Ebonyi State, one of our own, an accredited Uzabe field observer, Uzodimma Lucy Ogodo was brutally attacked for refusing to vote for a particular party.  This is unacceptable and against the tenets of democracy.

“Also, based on the reports of our field observers, we can say categorically that there are other pockets of violence that have surfaced in numerous polling units across the country.

“For example, in Lagos State, Ojo/Iba LCDA Local Govt Area, Polling unit: Princess Eneni Street, Victory Estate, Polling unit code: 091, was attacked by party hoodlums.

“In fact, the pregnant wife of our Lagos State Lead was attacked and is currently recuperating. We will not relent until justice is served.”

The civil society organisation,  however, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission,  INEC, for improving on the lapses experienced during the February 25 elections.

Mr Lawal said: “Despite all of these faults that we have observed we cannot say that the commission has not done well in some areas.

“For example, we observed that we recorded the early opening of polls in 79% of polling units observed by CODE as opposed to the less than 30% in the February 25th general elections.

“We must commend the functionality of the BVAS in this election. This indicates the commission’s commitment to embracing this new technology in our electioneering process.”

Mr Lawal also lauded the electoral umpire on the uploads of results on the IReV., saying: “We have noticed that as of 3:30 pm this afternoon, some results from various polling units have already been uploaded on the IReV portal. We are watching this progress very closely”.

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