Ahead of the governorship and Houses of Assembly elections slated for March 11, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that all bugs or glitches in the BVAS machines and other election technology are fixed and improved upon before the election.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the NBA, Mr Akorede Habeeb Lawal said the association urged that INEC staff (including collation and returning officers) with proven cases of misconduct in the 25th February 2023 election be excluded from the 11th March 2023 election.
The statement said the NBA Election Working Group observed that in the presidential and the National Assembly elections, there were reported cases of the late arrival of INEC officials and ballot materials at the polling stations, malfunctioning BVAS machines, limited or non-transmission of the results from the polling units to the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV).
Other challenges during the February 25 elections are, insecurity at some polling units including violent attacks on voters and officials, voter intimidation, snatching and destruction of voting materials, significant cases of vote-buying and limited access to facilities for persons living with disabilities.
“Generally, findings from the observation process are that only a quarter of the electorate were excellently impressed with the conduct of the ballots (27.1%) while the majority of the voters (64.6%) were somewhat satisfied, only 8.2% rated the election poor or very poor.”
The NBA also urged the Inspector General of Police(IGP) to ensure the timely deployment of police officers on duty for Saturday’s elections and advised political parties to educate their members and supporters on the need to eschew all forms of actions in violation of the Electoral Act.
The statement commended Nigerians for their resilience and perseverance in carrying out their civic duties during the Presidential and National Assembly elections and encouraged citizens to show the same values and resolve in the forthcoming Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.