Issued: 2:00 pm, Saturday, 16th July 2022

The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room is observing the Governorship election in Osun State conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Commendably, Osun State has witnessed a high rate of Permanent Voters card collection recording a total of 1,518,303 as reported by INEC. Voting day started peacefully not showing any indications of the apprehension that had trailed the days preceding the election.

Situation Room received reports from its network of observers of early arrival of materials and INEC officials in most of the polling units which led to early commencement of voting.

At this time, Situation Room make the following observations:

General Observations:
1. There was adequate presence of security personnel across the State and deployed across most of the polling units visited. Security personnel were friendly and professional in their approach. A number of them complained of not receiving their allowances ahead of the election.

2. Some of the polling units were sited in residential spaces and palaces. In the polling units with large registered voters, the voting areas were rowdy implying that polling units with smaller number units are more orderly naturally.

3. Political party agents were present in most of the polling units observed. A minimum of four party agents and maximum of six.

4. Knowledge of voting procedures and civic education of voters was very poor. Voting cubicles in many of the polling units were not positioned to ensure secrecy of the ballots making it possible for voters to flash their votes to other people.

5. The BVAS were deployed according to the number of registered voters. In polling units with over 1,000 voters, INEC kept to its promise to deploy two BVAS machines. The machines functioned credibly well. There were issues with the fingerprint verifications, however the facial capture worked very well recording approximately one minute for accreditation and voting in Osogbo and in outside areas, it took longer.

6. There was open negotiation of buying and selling of votes well-coordinated by the polling agents in many of the polling units. There were no complaints from any of them against each other. Codes and coupons were used to extract commitments from voters as opposed to the blatant money exchanging hands observed in the Ekiti State Governorship election.

7. Priority voting was given to the elderly and persons with disabilities in most of the polling units. Situation Room noted that a few of the polling units were located in places with staircases making it inaccessible for people with clutches.

From Situation Room’s observations, no violence has been recorded and the numbers of people who came out was encouraging. We commend the people of the State of Osun for coming out early to cast their votes especially the elderly who waited in queues patiently.

INEC’s deployment of materials and personnel should also be commended. Vote trading was recorded in most of the areas observed particularly outside Osogbo.

As voting continues, we call on all stakeholders to maintain the peaceful atmosphere recorded so far.

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

Contact information:
Twitter: @situationroomng
Hotlines: 09095050505, 09032999919

By joshua

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