The General Election was held across Nigeria on the 25th of February 2023 to elect representatives to the National Assembly and the position of the Presidency. As an organization that seeks to hold government accountable and foster good governance, the Asaba chapter of the Civil Rights Council monitored the election in various units to ensure that the election was devoid of intimidation, harassment, human rights abuse and any bait intended to bend the will of the voters against constitutional procedure.
In Oshimili South, consisting of 19 polling units, the election was conducted. Materials in these areas arrived between 9:30 am -11:00 am, while voting and accreditation commenced between 11:00am -1:40pm. According to CRC observers, in all units, there are presence of security personnel. The voting process was seamless and the BVAS was in good working condition as results were collated and uploaded to the INEC server. However, the case was not the same in Ward 6, Unit 13, Koka Interchange Park, Koka Junction there was an adamant refusal by INEC officials to upload the result and also, and the voting result were not announced. Moreso, in Ward 11, Unit 3 Ahabam primary school Jarret cable point, 5% of voters’ names were not found on the BVAS hence disenfranchising them.
Furthermore, in Oshimili North five polling unit were monitored and they were; Ward 9 Unit 3 Town Hall Umumale/Umuomake/Ogbeobi/Ogbeojie Okpanam, Ward 9 Unit 6 Achalla Hall – Amachai/Agbahwe Camp/Oganna Iii Camps Ogbe Ojie Okpanam, Ward 9 Unit 7, Okuchi Comprehensive Secondary School Amachai Okpanam, Ward 4 Unit 6 Ezekeke Hall Umuokpala/ Umumodi/ Umukekea/Ogbeatakpo Umuachosia Camps Igbusa I, Ward 4 Unit 7 Omu Girls Primary School Igbusa I, Ward 4 Unit 10 Nkpazunor Hall Igbusa I. The election was also seamless as voting materials arrived at a good time and votes were casted but not without a hitch. In Okuchi Comprehensive School Unit, they had power issues due to the massive crowd who came to vote. The power failure did not deter the voters as good spirited Nigerians provided their generators to supply power to ensure that the result was counted and uploaded to the INEC server.
For Aniocha South, Ward 2 unit 28, ogbe ogwudei square/ ogwashi ukwu I where CRC members monitored the election, the voting materials arrived at about 8:20am and the voting commenced by 8:40am. All process was free and fair and there was no challenge.
The monitors observed that INEC did not provide enough vehicles to convey the electoral materials to the various polling units hence some units started earlier and some did not. Also, 25% of voters were disenfranchised due to the inability to complete the accreditation process. The presence of security personnel were on ground, the election was helpful as most centres did not experience any form of violence even though there was a massive turn out of voters.