On Saturday, 18th June 2022, residents of Ekiti State will come out to vote in the Governorship Election. The Nigeria Civil Situation Room (Situation Room) has convened in Ado-Ekiti to observe the Governorship Election. Situation Room has deployed election observers across the 16 Local Government Areas of the State and will also receive reports from its partners and networks as part of its observation of the election.

Having watched the campaigns periods leading up to the election, Situation Room notes that the political environment in the State is relatively peaceful at the moment. However, there have been reports of security threats amongst different factions of the drivers’ union and drivers’ employers union supporting various political parties which led to the death of one person. Situation Room is worried that if the reported factions within the drivers’ union are not appropriately cautioned by the Security Agencies, the conflict may be a threat to the relatively peaceful environment given the State’s history of political violence.

This Governorship election is the first election to be conducted following the enactment of a new Electoral Law. Thus, expectations are high especially with regards to early deployment of poll officials and materials, logistics, election security and inclusivity, amongst others. Situation Room notes the assurances given by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a transparent election and the Nigeria Police to provide adequate security to voters and poll officials professionally.

Accordingly, Situation Room hereby outlines its expectations for Ekiti State Governorship Election 2022 as follows:

1. INEC and Election Administration:- Situation Room expects an improved administration and management of the 2022 Ekiti State Governorship Election and asks INEC to take steps to hold poll officials to account for any violation of its guidelines. Situation Room observed the smooth distribution of sensitive election materials from INEC’s State Headquarters to Registration Area Centres (RACs) and Super RACs in some locations. Situation Room commends INEC’s novel approach in the logistics and early distribution of sensitive election materials two days to the election day. Given that Ekiti State does not have any difficult terrain, Situation Room expects an early deployment of materials and officials on election day.

Situation Room will be holding INEC accountable for its commitment and assurances, and will look out specifically for the following on Saturday, 18th June 2022:
• Early distribution and deployment of personnel and materials;
• Timely opening of polls;
• Knowledge of election procedures by INEC ad hoc staff;
• Voting procedures particularly the efficacy of the BVAS;
• Electronic transmission of polling unit results and upload to INEC Results Viewing Portal (IRev Portal); and
• Transparent Collation process.

Situation Room notes the position of the Electoral Act 2022 and INEC’s Guidelines for the conduct of elections regarding the mandatory use of the Bimodal Voter accreditation System (BVAS) and welcomes the Commission’s assurance that the accreditation devices are properly configured and ready for the election. During Situation Room’s interaction with the INEC REC a few back, he confirmed that a mock election was held across the three senatorial districts. These assurances are particularly uplifting following the noticeable shortcomings of the devices during the Anambra State Governorship election and recently conducted FCT Area Councils’ elections. The functionality of the BVAS will therefore form a critical part of the Situation Room’s observation of the electoral process.

Situation Room expects to see polling officials properly apply the provisions in the INEC Guidelines to support Persons with Disabilities with assistive materials during this election especially as the Electoral Act 2022 now makes it mandatory for INEC to to take reasonable steps to ensure that PWDs, special needs and vulnerable persons are assisted during voting and provided with suitable means of communication during polls.

2. Security Agencies:- Situation Room calls on the Nigeria Police to enforce to the latter its Operational Guidelines for Police Officers on Election Duty. It is hoped that officers engaged in the Governorship Election are properly trained on the guidelines and that all personnel will be identified by their name tags. The Security Agencies deployed for the election must demonstrate their commitment to non-partisanship and ensure adequate security for the election, in a manner that does not allow or encourage violence to be used as a tool for vote suppression.

We further call on the Police Force to document evidence of violence and vote-buying in order to prosecute the perpetrators as well as share this information with INEC.

3. Political Parties:- Situation Room calls on political parties participating in the Governorship election to conduct themselves in a manner that is devoid of violence and restrain their supporters. In this vein, Situation Room commends the political parties for their participation in the governorship debate, and the signing of the Peace Accord sends hope that they will abide by the principles of the Accord. Situation Room further calls on political parties to do everything possible to avoid inducement of voters in any form and the propagation of fake news. The past Governorship elections in 2014 and 2018 were fraught with widespread vote buying even popularising the term” stomach infrastructure” as a synonym for voter inducement.
Conclusion: – Situation Room commends the citizens of Ekiti State for the high rate in PVCs collected and calls on all eligible voters in Ekiti State to go a step further by actually coming out enmasse to peacefully exercise their civic responsibility tomorrow Saturday, 18th June 2022. Situation room calls on the people of Ekiti State to shun all forms of voter inducement and vote their conscience.

Ene Obi
Convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room

Asma’u Joda
Co-Convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room

James Ugochukwu
Co-Convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room
The Situation Room is made up of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in support of credible and transparent elections in Nigeria numbering more than seventy. The Steering Committee is made up of: Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), CLEEN Foundation, Action Aid Nigeria, Centre for Women and Adolescent Empowerment, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), African Centre for Entrepreneurship and Information Development (ACEIDEV), Justice Development and Peace Commission (JPDC) Nnewi, ASPILOS Foundation, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), Mac-Jim Foundation, Kimpact Development Initiative, Democratic Action Group (DAG), Women’s Rights to Education Programme, EDO CSOs, Young Innovators and Vocational Training Initiative (YVITI), New Initiative for Social Development (NISD). Other groups are Centre LSD, CISLAC, WARD-C, Proactive Gender Initiative (PGI), Enough is Enough Nigeria, WANGONET, JDPC, YIAGA Africa, Development Dynamics, Partners West Africa Nigeria (PWAN), Stakeholder Democracy Network, Human Rights Monitor, Reclaim Naija, CITAD, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR,) Nigerian Women Trust Fund, The Albino Foundation, Emma Ezeazu Centre for Good Governance and Accountability (formerly Alliance for Credible Elections), Electoral Hub, etc
Contact information:
Website: situationroomng.org
Twitter @situationroomng
Facebook: Facebook.com/situationroomnigeria
Hotlines: 09095050505, 09032999919

By joshua

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