Ekiti: Election fell short of global standards, say US observer group, others

A coalition of domestic and international election observers accredited to observe the July 14 governorship poll in Ekiti State said the election fell short of global best practices and electoral standards. The Independent National Electoral Commission declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Kayode Fayemi, as the winner of the election.

The observers, who comprised representatives from over 50 domestic organisations, human rights groups and international election observer bodies, based their report on lapses noticed in the conduct of the election, especially the role of security agencies. The observers include Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness, Nigeria; Justice and Equity Organisation, Nigeria; International Republican Institute, United States of America; and Patriotic Women Foundation, Abuja, as well as the other bodies from the African Unions, among others.

The observers, who praised INEC for the proper conduct of the poll in line with global and constitutional dictates and standards, faulted the deployment of 30,000 policemen for the election. The observers stated that the conduct of some of the security operatives and unwholesome practices of vote buying — where voters surreptitiously showed which party they voted to party agents who went behind to settle them, largely marred the electoral process.

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