IReV portal functioned optimally – Yiaga Africa –

Yiaga Africa said on Sunday that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Results Viewing Portal (IReV) was at its best during the Governor-General and State Assembly elections.

Mr. Ezenwa Nwagwu, Yiaga Africa board member, said this at a press conference in Abuja on the governor and state assembly elections, which the European Union provides through its support for democratic governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN).

Nwagwu said Yiaga Africa commended INEC for the marked improvement in the logistical management of the election, especially with the early start of voting due to the quick arrival of election officials to most polling stations.

“Unlike the presidential election on February 25, the INEC Election Results Viewing (IReV) portal worked best in this election, enabling citizens to download voting unit-level results.

“Electronic authentication using the Bimodal Voter Authentication System (BVAS) has been successfully implemented in a large number of polling stations observed by Yiaga Africa.

“Yiaga Africa calls on INEC to ensure proper oversight of the results collation process and to ensure that results announced under duress or in violation of electoral law, INEC guidelines or manuals are reviewed under section 65 of the electoral law.”

As INEC continues to sort out the results, citizens, candidates and supporters are encouraged to remain calm and peaceful and reject any calls for violence, Nwagwu said.

He said only INEC had the legal mandate to declare the election results and pick a winner.

“We urge all stakeholders to respect the committee’s constitutional powers and not to declare election results.”

Nwagwu said Yiaga Africa observers pointed out that the gubernatorial and state assembly elections are signposted by voter suppression, electoral violence, electoral impunity, vote-buying and political mob control of outcome management.

This happened in Delta, Lagos, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Kano and Taraba states, he said.
He said Yiaga Africa was saddened by cases of political thugs attacking voters, INEC officials, journalists, election observers and EFCC personnel.

“Reports also indicate that at least eight people have died in the past 24 hours.

“These election-related deaths are unacceptable and highly condemnable. Security agencies must hold political thugs and their supporters accountable for these deaths and attacks.”

Yiaga Africa, he said, unequivocally condemns acts of voter suppression fueled by racial profiling, political brutality and desperation to secure election victory at all costs.

He said registered voters and fellow citizens in some states were denied the right to vote in a blatant abuse of the Constitution and the 2022 Elections Act.

“With regard to professional conduct, Yiaga Africa has received reports of unprofessional and partisan security personnel at the 26 polling stations observed.

“Yiaga Africa has received reports of unprofessional and partisan polling officials at 21 polling stations observed.”

During election day on Saturday, March 18, Yiaga Africa verified 216 significant incidents witnessed by WatchingTheVote citizen observers, a higher number than the February 25 election, Nwagwu said.

He said there had been instances of violent disruption, looting and vandalism of ballot boxes, manipulation of results while collation, obstruction of election observation, intimidation and harassment of polling stations.

Nwagwu said Yiaga Africa had received 44 reports of cash being used to induce and distribute food to buy ballots.

Therefore, he said, Yiaga Africa called on the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) surrogate to ensure effective and adequate deployment of security personnel to the finishing centres.

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