The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room said on Sunday the Anambra State governorship election was generally peaceful but characterized by vote-buying.
In a statement jointly signed by its Convener, Ene Obi, and the two Co-Conveners, Asma’u Joda and James Oguchukwu, the Situation Room votes were sold for N1,000 and N6,000 at various locations during the election held across the state on Saturday.
The group, however, said the vote-buying was carried out discreetly in some polling units while it was done in the full glare of the public despite the presence of security agents in others.
The Situation Room disclosed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ad-hoc staff and election materials arrived late in many polling units visited by field observers.
The organization also reported the widespread malfunction of the Bimodal Verification Accreditation System (BVAS) in several polling units across the state.
The group urged the people of Anambra to remain peaceful as the election runs its course and charged INEC to ensure the peaceful and transparent conclusion of the exercise.
It also implored security agencies to continue to maintain law and order through the remaining phases of the election.
The statement read: We received reports of widespread vote-buying by political party agents across the state. Some of the specific instances include the sale of votes for amounts ranging from N1,000 and N6,000 at various locations.
However, this was being carried out very discreetly in some PUs while in others the votes buying was done in full glare without prevention from the security personnel.
“Nevertheless, voters in a particular polling unit in the state rejected an inducement of N5,000 per vote. Situation Room commends the courage of these voters. For this, we say a big well done to Ndi Anambra.
“The problem with the BVAs was noticeable in 59 percent of the PUs observed, with a minimum of five minutes to accredit one voter in 65.8 percent of the PUs observed.
“Furthermore, some of the ad-hoc staff experienced some difficulty in operating the machines. In some locations, the machines were working rather slowly and took as long as 10 minutes or more to accredit a single voter.
“The voter turnout was good, contrary to earlier apprehensions that trailed the beginning of the electioneering process.
“Even though there were no large crowds of voters, it was still a relief to see citizens come out eventually to exercise their rights.”
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