By Lubem Gena, Abuja
Accredited election observer groups under the auspices of the Centre for Credible Leadership & Citizens Awareness (CCLCA) has endorsed the Kano state supplementary elections and said it conformed with international best practice, globally accepted standard and conformed with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as the Electoral Act.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja today, the Director General of the Centre, Dr. Gabriel Nwambu saidethe election became inconclusive when the number of voters who were prevented by a combination of factors from voting outstrips the margin between the two leading candidates.
While giving an objective and clinical analysis, Dr. Nwambu stated that the reportage of Kano State supplementary elections by some media establishments (online inclusive) and some observer groups were examined to arrive at their conclusion.
“Many observers and media could not mention more than 5 polling units where violence was perpetrated in Kano state supplementary election. Our question is using even a maximum of 10 polling units as possible units where violence were perpetrated out of 208 polling units and almost 300 Voting Points. Could that be enough to generalize and say that the election was marred with violence; the answer is NO.
“Again, let’s examine the total Permanent Voters Cards (PVCS) collected and the scores so far recorded. Kano State has a record of 87% of PVCs Collected.
“The Total number of Registered Voters in Areas where elections are cancelled is 128,324 registered Voters. Using a collection rate of 87%. That is, about 111, 641 persons had collected their PVCs in cancelled polling units.
“In the inconclusive election, PDP Scored 10, 239 Votes, while APC Scored 45, 876 Votes. Adding the both scores is 56,115. Now the total number of vote cast is less than 50% of the total PVCs collected and total number of registered voters.
“However, this election does not have incidences of over-voting, thus is still in line with the rules of a transparent election as provided by the electoral Act of 2010 as Amended. We observed massive vote buying and intimidation, pockets of violence in Chibia LGA, parts of Nasarawa town”, Dr. Nwambu said.
But in all these, CCLAC said INEC was very conscious and prudent in handling the situation and nullifying results where necessary.
“For us, it is our firm belief that inconclusive election is not peculiar to Kano state alone but rather a process that demonstrates the resolute determination of INEC in ensuring the conduct of transparent, free, fair and credible elections en route positive sustainability of democracy in Nigeria.
“It is evident that a few violence were recorded in Chibia especially in Nasarawa during the supplementary election in Kano state, but the ratio is not enough to condemn the processes of the election nor discredit it.
“Nigeria is an evolving democratic nation. Our democracy is deepening and maturing as INEC has demonstrated a high capacity and consistent improvement in the overall conduct of elections in Nigeria. Unlike in the time past when a few individuals sit in the comfort of their homes and determine election results. Greater participation in elections is observed because votes now count”, Dr. Nwambu emphasised.
He expressed worry over the challenges in the Nigerian electoral system arising from the inability of the political elites across party lines to abide to laid down fundamental rules and regulations stating that evident desperation of some party bigwigs has grossly undermined the efforts of the electoral management body and must be curtailed.
He said, his group however observed the indiscriminate use of certain INEC pronouncements as provided by law as demonstrated by some returning officers in Imo and Bauchi states respectively.
He cautioned returning officers and some security agencies to ensure transparent , free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria is not hijacked by political contractors.
“If this issue bothering on the professionalism and impartiality of law enforcement agencies in Nigeria is not addressed urgently, proper conduct of credible elections in Nigeria would continue to elude the Giant of Africa.
“Finally, to avert the huge expenditure and ensure transparent elections, we urge the 8th National Assembly to rectify the electoral amendment bill and send once again to Mr. President for urgent accent”, he concluded.