The Election observer group, Yiaga Africa, has tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to undertake reforms to protect the secrecy of the ballot in the future election in the country.
Addressing journalists on Sunday, the chairman of the group, Ezenwa Nwagwu, noted that vote-buying has become a serious challenge that diminishes human dignity and questions the legitimacy of electoral outcomes in the country.
The group, however, said the official result by the INEC reflects the true position of the election and noted the significant improvement in INEC’s management of election logistics.
He said “Whilst Yiaga Africa urges INEC to undertake reforms to protect the secrecy of the ballot, it is important to note that vote-buying is a governance challenge that diminishes human dignity and questions the legitimacy of electoral outcomes. Addressing this menace requires a multi-pronged approach that fosters improved public governance, abolishes do-or-die politics and strengthens mechanisms of accountability.”
“As stated in our pre-election reports, Yiaga Africa undertook Watching the Vote to provide citizens, governorship candidates, political parties, and INEC with independent information on whether the official results truly reflect the ballots cast at polling units.
“If INEC’s official results fall within Yiaga Africa’s estimated range, then the public, political parties, and candidates should have confidence that the official results reflect the ballots cast in the polling units”.
The group also called on the Akeredolu and his supporters to be magnanimous in victory while he urged the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede and the ZLP flagbearer, Hon Agboola Ajayi to accept the results as the outcome of the poll reflects voters’ wishes.
“Yiaga Africa calls on the winning candidate and his supporters to be magnanimous in victory. For those candidates who did not win, we urge them to accept the results because they reflect the votes cast.
“Yiaga Africa calls upon all candidates, all parties and all Nigerians to show political maturity and to maintain the peace.”
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Yiaga commends the National Peace Committee (NPC) for responding to the call by stakeholders on the threat of violence as indicated in Yiaga Africa’s Pre-election observation report and said the interventions contributed in no small measure to the peaceful conduct of the election.
“Yiaga Africa would like to thank the many Nigerians across the state who volunteered to serve as non-partisan WTV citizen observers on behalf of all the people of Ondo.
“Yiaga Africa commends the dedication of the permanent INEC staff in Abuja and Ondo state who organized the election and the commitment of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members who served as poll officials.
“Yiaga Africa would like to thank sister election observer groups and the international community for their solidarity and support.
“Yiaga Africa, through the Watching The Vote initiative, is committed to promoting more credible elections by providing independent information on the conduct of elections and independently verifying the accuracy of election results.”