Home News State Polls: EU Observers Raises Alarm Over Violence, Underage Voting During Election

State Polls: EU Observers Raises Alarm Over Violence, Underage Voting During Election

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State Polls: EU Observers Raises Alarm Over Violence, Underage Voting During Election

The European Union Observation Mission to Nigeria (EOM) has frowned at the violence, underage voting, and vote-buying, which marred the March 9th elections in some states.

EOM alleged that Nigerian soldiers barred them from monitoring elections in Rivers state.

The chief observer, Maria Arena, made this allegation in their preliminary report released in Abuja on Monday.

Speaking to journalists, Arena stressed that “this lack of access for observers compromises transparency and trust in the process.”

She said: “Observers, including EU observers, were denied access to collation centres in Rivers, apparently by military personnel.

“This lack of access for observers compromises transparency and trust in the process.

“In Rivers, INEC suspended, until further notice, the elections due to violence in polling units and collation centres, staff being taken hostage and election materials, including results sheets, seized or destroyed by unauthorised persons.

“There is no doubt that the electoral process there was severely compromised.”

Arena noted that the EU deployed 73 observers to monitor voting, counting and the collation of results in 22 states, adding that they monitored 223 polling units across 81 collation centres.

She added: “Most polling units visited opened on time or less than 30 minutes late, and the procedures for the accreditation of voters were significantly improved.

“The counting of ballots was overall transparent. Positively, in almost all cases, party agents received copies of the results forms. The EU EOM also presented its assessment of the collation process for the presidential and National Assembly results.

“It concluded that inconsistent numbers, lack of clear checks and explanations, and insufficient public information undermined confidence in the integrity of process”.

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