The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reacted to the European Union Election Observation Mission’s (EUEOM) final report on Nigeria’s 2023 general elections.
The EU observer mission identified six important areas for improvement in Nigeria’s electoral process in its final report on the country’s 2015 general elections on Tuesday.
The EU observers’ final report on INEC’s overall performance during the February 25 and March 11 general elections in Nigeria, however, was described as “unfair” by INEC.
“It is not fair to judge the commission’s entire performance on the basis of a glitch in the result upload for the presidential election,” INEC stated.
According to the study, one of the six priority areas that EU observers want INEC to address is the electoral body’s inability to upload results.
However, Festus Okoye, National Commissioner of INEC and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, stated that the “glitch in downloading the presidential election result” was not a valid cause to criticize the electoral body’s work during the polls.
Speaking on Channels Television, Okoye noted that one advantage of the law is that it allows political parties to monitor what happens at voting stations.
“Almost all political parties nominated and received accreditation for at least 170,000 polling agents.” That indicates they have main evidence of the polling unit findings,” he explained.
“The results from the polling units, as well as the BVAS as a machine, are sent to the collation center.”
“As a result, it is not true for a political party to rely solely on results uploaded to obtain evidence with which to prosecute its case in court,” Okoye added.
Okoye recalled that the people had praised INEC for using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the general election.
In terms of voter accreditation, the INEC commissioner insisted that no one had questioned the system’s functionality and that the electoral authority would take a comprehensive look at the mission’s and other observation groups’ reports.
“We are going to harmonise all of the reports that have been presented by international bodies, and we are going to look at the reports holistically.”
“The EU mentioned in the report that there have been significant improvements in our electoral process and that there have been so many positives to this particular election.”
“During this election, we registered over 93 million Nigerians, which is one of the positives.” That’s not everything. According to the assessments presented by international observers, the BVAS operated optimally in terms of voter accreditation.”
Okoye agreed that there were some difficulties. He went on to say that when looking at those problems, one must consider the context and climate of the election.
“There was insecurity in some sections of the country, which we cannot deny. Second, violence was directed against our employees and other Nigerians. Fuel scarcity and the redesign of the naira were other issues.
“Recommendations on administrative and legal issues have been made, and we are going to harvest and implement them.”
The EU Observation Mission stated in its final report that the general election in the country showed long-standing systemic flaws while calling for far-reaching reforms in the legal and operational framework of Nigeria’s electoral process.
According to the report’s author, Mission Chief Observer Barry Andrews, flaws in “law and electoral administration” hampered the overall conduct of the general elections.