Edo Election Int’l observers say security operatives encouraged bribery

Prof Ahmed Ansari, also called on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve their card readers.

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Governor Adams Oshiomhole casting his vote play

Governor Adams Oshiomhole casting his vote

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International observers who monitored the Edo election on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, said security operatives did not do anything when voters were being bribed with money.

The head of the African Union Observer Team, Prof Ahmed Ansari, also called on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve their card readers.

He said “The turnout was quite impressive, but there were problems here and there. Another challenge was understaffing. We saw situation whereby only one staff was in a polling unit. That was not good enough.”

Adding that “As the head of an international observer team, we were not allowed to go to the collation centres at a particular time. That is something we need to complain about. I asked who gave the instruction; who gave the order? It couldn’t be INEC.

“It could be, as they call it, order from above? But the security men told me that ‘sir, this is the order given to us.’ In every situation, one person is allowed to be there. Even when we delegated Victor (his assistant) to go in, he was not allowed to go into the hall.

 “He (Victor) was allowed to come within the compound, but was not inside the nucleus, where the whole the exercise took place.”

Also Christian Victor, who represented the African Union for Economic, Social and Cultural Council, said “One of them is that everywhere we visited was filled with money flying around. Some people were fighting some voters for not voting the political parties they were paid for. It was very disappointing that this kind of thing still happens in the Nigeria’s political system.

“I watched the security agencies and it was clear they understood that monies were flying but for reasons best known to them they did not stop it. There were cases of young men, who looked like thugs, driving around during the election.

“They were never stopped by security agencies. That is wrong where there is a restriction of movement. I also saw wealthy people moving around in SUVs during the election.

“I have been part of many elections and I have never seen a situation whereby observers and journalists are not allowed into collation centres.”

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected INEC’s official declaration of Godwin Obaseki as the winner of the just concluded governorship poll.

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