By Nasir Ibrahim
Two election monitors in Saturday’s local government polls in Kano, Centre for Information Technology And Development (CITAD) and Action Aid International Nigeria, have faulted the entire process.
They said the process was flawed since it permitted open, multiple, and underage voting.
A statement issued by media coordinator, Election Monitoring Team of CITAD, Hamza Idris, also noted that election officials and materials were in several instances not delivered to polling units on time, ”an action that discouraged voters and led to a boycott of polling units.”
“Underage voting has been witnessed in some places. Insufficient provision of ballot papers in many polling units. At a particular polling unit, there were over 600 registered voters but only 200 ballot papers were issued to it even though there was a considerable turnout of voters in some polling units.
“In most of the local governments within and outside Kano metropolis, voting began between 3:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.,” the statement said.
The statement added that a number of newly registered voters could not find their names on the voters register presented by KANSIEC as it is yet to be updated, and voting did not take place in some polling units as the electorate waited endlessly.
They cited a particular case in Karaye local government where this occurred.
The statement said conducting free, credible and fair elections not only helps democracy but consolidates it, especially at local government levels.
“People living with disability were discouraged from voting in certain polling units having to join long queues.
“Provisions should be made to allow people with special needs to easily vote in elections, such as dedicating a particular section or queue for them, providing a shade under which albinos can wait,” the statement observed.
It also recommended adequate and concrete plans to ensure prompt delivery of election materials to all polling units.
“Voters register should be continuously updated to allow emerging voters find their names and cast their votes. Underage voting should not be condoned by election officials and security agents,” the groups advised.