A coalition of accredited observer groups under the umbrella of Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness, CCLCA, has commended Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC for conducting a free and fair Benue South senatorial re-run election describing the process as the best so far in recent times.
The re-run poll which held last weekend was keenly contested between former Senate President, David Mark of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP and Comrade Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Speaking to Journalists in Abuja, Director General of the Centre, Dr. Gabriel Nwambu observed that the election was done under best practices.
“It is evident that the democratic process of power transition as demonstrated in the conduct of Benue South Senatorial rerun election of 20th February, 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”.
According to him, all the critical stakeholders in the process played their respective roles in the process professionally, which led to the success recorded during and after the exercise.
“By this medium we extend our commendation to the Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakub, 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”, he said.
Dr. Nwambu also explained that observers were posted across the 9 Local Government Areas of the State where elections held just as he said while 522,713 were registered voters for the election, only 165,093 were accredited indicating voters’ apathy in the poll.
The group however admitted minor skirmishes in few areas were electoral materials were carted away.
“The ballot box for Amlicho Unit in Okete was snatched at gun point. It took the effort of the Security Operatives to quash an attempt by hoodlums to snatch the ballot box at Emitchi-Otukpo in Okete ward.
“Snatching of ballot boxes and intimidation was observed in Amoda 1 polling Unit, Ehaje Ward, Ohimini LGA with visible presence of several thugs intimidating electorates and causing mayhem. Attempt by thugs to disrupt election in Ijedu polling Unit Odija Ward was made, but this was resisted by electorates who were resolute to protect their votes”, he noted.

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