The Forum of Independent Election Observers in Nigeria says the just concluded Anambra governorship election has added credence and development to Nigeria’s democratic process.
Dr Lazarus Nwachukwu, the National President of the Forum made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Owerri.
“We have made our preliminary report of our observations in the election and can comfortably say that the election was free and credible.
“We looked out for those things that could make election free and credible such as if INEC prepared adequately for this election. The answer is yes.
“Was the legal framework sufficient? The answer is yes.
“Is the electoral system appropriate? The answer is yes,” Nwachukwu stated.
He said the electoral process recorded a pass score except in few terrains where materials were not supplied on time.
Nwachukwu said the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) also experienced some challenges in some places which must be properly addressed ahead of future elections.
“INEC should also look into some election observers’ conduct,” he noted, adding that many observers came to the field but could not develop reports.
“What is the credibility of INEC accrediting them,’’ Nwachukwu wondered.
“Apart from these few areas of challenges, Anambra election is one of the best and near perfect one by our measurement,” he said.
The national president commended the mature and peaceful conduct of governorship candidates as well as voters for turning out en mass to vote despite security threats.
“The security agencies also played a lot of roles to ensure that thuggery was reduced. There was no thuggery reported around the polling units.
“Other areas like vote buying and other things are not perpetrated by INEC but political parties,” Nwachukwu alleged.
He called on INEC to duplicate the success recorded in Anambra in future elections in the country.
NAN reports that Prof. Florence Obi, INEC’s Returning Officer had early Wednesday morning declared Prof. Chukwuma Soludo of APGA winner of the Nov. 6 governorship election.
Soludo polled a total of 112,229 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr Valentine Ozigbo of PDP who scored 53,807 votes to emerge second.
Sen. Andy Uba of APC came third with a total of 43,285 votes. (NAN)