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A COMMUNIQUE ON THE AKWA IBOM STATE CONSTITUENCIES AND UYO SENATORIAL DISTRICT RERUN ELECTION

A COMMUNIQUE ON THE AKWA IBOM STATE CONSTITUENCIES AND UYO SENATORIAL DISTRICT RERUN ELECTION BY A COALITION OF INEC ACCREDITED OBSERVER GROUPS – CENTRE FOR CREDIBLE LEADERSHIP & CITIZENS AWARENESS,GLOBAL INITIATIVE FOR CIVIC TRAINING & YOUTH EMPOWERMENT ON MARCH 14, 2016
PRELUDE:
In the world over, it is necessary to ensure that elections comply with International Best Practice and Globally Accepted Standard, hence, the essence of accrediting reputable Civil Society Organizations to observe any election is to assess the degree of compliance of the electoral management body (INEC), the Political Parties as well as their supporters to the relevant electoral laws as provided by the Electoral Act of 2010 as Amended, Federal Republic of Nigeria. This essentially is to serve as a parameter for measurement and a term of reference to improving future elections. Thus, election observation increases the level of credibility of a well ordered process of power transition in any defined democratic state.
Consequently, the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), as an electoral body saddled with the constitutional responsibility of conducting elections across Nigeria, after a thorough scrutiny accredited some reputable Civil Society/Non Governmental Organizations to serve as election observers for the Akwa Ibom rerun elections, 2016.
This rerun election was in 4 state constituencies, and 1 Senatorial District.
The election was keenly contested basically by 2 political parties. However, these two political parties were dominant in terms of registering their presence and mobilizing of the electorates. These are the APC and the PDP.
Observers were posted across these areas of the State where elections held.
We recruited and mobilized 40 observers and sent them to all the constituencies where elections held namely Udung Uko/Oron, Etinan, Ibesikpo/Asutan, Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara, Uyo, Uruan, Itu and Ibiono Ibom. This assignment we must highlight was carried out with a great sense of responsibility and neutrality.
OUR OBSERVATIONS.
We, as Organizations duly Accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), hereby declare and state our observations as follows:
1. That the rerun elections in state constituencies and Uyo Senatorial District actually held on the 12th of February,2016.
2. That we inspected the sensitive and non sensitive electoral materials before, during and after the distribution across the State.
3. That we observed the distribution of these materials within the rule of engagement as provided by the relevant electoral Laws.
4. That INEC ensured timely arrival of voting materials across the Senatorial District.
5. That the INEC employed and trained ad hoc electoral officials who were on ground timely to manage the election processes adequately.
6. That accreditation of eligible voters commenced at about 8.30am across the affected areas.
7. There was a general Voter Apathy . Although voters were seen as early as 8 am ready to exercise their franchise.
8. That the Card Reader failed significantly in terms of verification of PVCs and finger print.
From the ongoing, it is evident that the democratic process of Power Transition. as demonstrated in the conduct of State Constituencies and Uyo Senatorial rerun election of 12th March,2016 in determining the winners of the keenly contested election as conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) complied with the relevant electoral laws and Global Best Practices.
We, as a Coalition of INEC Accredited Observer groups, consequent to this election, state very clearly, that the election was transparent, free, fair and credible and has complied with the Electoral Act of 2010 as Amended.
Again, it is pertinent to note that INEC has demonstrated a significant improvement in the overall conduct of transparent and credible elections in Nigeria as demonstrated in the Akwa Ibom State constituencies and Uyo Senatorial rerun Election.
We hereby recommend this elections in terms of simultaneous voting which was tested in Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State, bringing to cognizance, transparency, Due Process and the rule of law en route a sustainable democratic Nigerian Nation.
RECOMMENDATIONS
By this medium we extend our commendation to the Chairman, Prof. Mamoud Yakubu, Federal Commissioners, Directors and staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission for remaining unbiased in the conduct of this transparent, free, fair and credible election. The Press is also commended for a balanced reportage and standing firm for the truth.
The Police, DSS, NSCDC, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the Military and indeed all the law enforcement agencies for a well proactive policing devoid of molestation of law abiding citizens of the state.
The electorates are also commended for conducting themselves peacefully and within the provisions of the law.
CONCLUSSION.
We reiterate our support in enthroning a globally accepted process of power transition which brings to cognisance equity, fair play and the rule of law in the Nigerian nation.
Signed: For the COALITION
Dr. Nwambu Gabriel
Ambassador Manukwem Chinyere

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