Bayelsa Polls Fell Below Expectation, Can’t Pass Credibility Test – TMG

Bayelsa Polls Fell Below Expectation, Can’t Pass Credibility Test – TMG
Chris Steven, Abuja
The Transition Monitoring Group on Tuesday expressed concern over the conduct of the Bayelsa State governorship election, saying it fell below expectation and cannot pass credibility test.
The organisation which deployed 300 observers said security agencies disappointed Nigerians because they refused to act, despite earlier warnings three months before the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States regarding flash points.

The chairman of TMG, Mr. Ibrahim Zikirulkahi, conveyed its position in a preliminary statement read to journalists Tuesday evening in Abuja.

He lamented what he described as persistent challenges in the organisation of credible elections in Bayelsa state noting that  proper accreditation procedures were not followed in many polling units. 

”  TMG observers rep in 42% of polling units observed, individuals were permitted to vote if the card reader could not read their PVCs.  In 11% of polling units observed, significant numbers of individuals – 26 or more – were permitted to vote although the card reader could not read their PVCs.

In 19% of polling units observed, 26 or more individuals were accredited to vote while voting was ongoing.  According to INEC’s Approved Guidelines and Regulations for the Conduct of 2015 General Elections, accreditation should be declared closed before voting commences (sections 14a and 16a).

Abnormally high rates of results in polling units were declared null and void by poll officials. In 19% of polling units observed, INEC officials reported that the results tabulated at the polling unit were null and void.  In accordance with INEC’s Approved Guidelines and Regulations for the Conduct of 2015 General Elections, results are declared null and void when an election is not held or cancelled or where over-voting has taken place (sections 28 and 31).”  he said 

The TMG chairman concluded by saying that findings by the group suggest that the gubernatorial election in Bayelsa was characterized by serious irregularities throughout the process, which call into question the credibility of the election.  

It however called on the Independent  National Electoral Commission  (INEC) to adhere to its Approved Guidelines and Regulations for the Conduct of 2015 General Elections to ensure the credibility of the electoral process.