The Coalition of Civil Society Domestic Election Observer Groups has described the recently conducted local government election in Ekiti State as meeting global standards and best practices.
The election was held in all the local government areas on Saturday, with the ruling All Progressives Congress winning all the 16 Chairmanship and 177 councilorship seats.
Addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti on Monday, the coalition’s team leader, Engr. Muhammad Al-Jameel Hashidu, maintained that the fact that materials arrived at the 2,195 polling units promptly, with voting and collation done freely in a manner bereft of harassment and intimidation, further attested to the credibility of the poll.
The observers noted that the election witnessed a high turnout of voters in major citizens in contrast to what was witnessed at the hinterlands, a situation he attributed to the low level of sensitisation at the remote centres.
“We, the coalition of Civil Society Domestic Election observers groups that Observed the 2019 local government election in Ekiti State do hereby state that the election was conducted not only free, fair and credible but violence-free, which means that it meets international standards and best practices”.
The coalition further called for more voter education and advocacy at the grassroots and proper funding for state electoral bodies to prosecute future elections.
The National Coordinator of Network of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, Com. Victor Kalu said the neutrality maintained by government and security agencies reinforced the acceptability of the poll.
“As much as Government neutrality in the exercise was evident, we must not fail to indicate that the government of Ekiti State, to the extent of their official responsibility did whatever was in their line of duty to ensure an effective and peaceful election.
“Again, we emphasize the contributions of the Ekiti State Police Command in posting Police Officers to every nook and cranny of the State during the exercise. We applaud the unwavering commitment of the police for the good job done.
“We also commend the people of the state for the maturity they exhibited during the exercise. Most importantly, we salute them for eschewing the extremities of violence”.