The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Observation Mission that monitored Nigeria’s general elections held on February 25 has said the exercise was generally peaceful and transparent.
Former President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone, Leader of the ECOWAS delegation, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja during a preliminary briefing on the elections.
Koroma noted that the voter turnout was low in most polling units visited but said the electorate mostly conducted themselves well throughout the voting process.
“Vote counting and tallying processes were carried out in a transparent, simple and professional manner, in the presence of party agents, observers, and security agents in the daytime in some polling units and with lamps in others, where voting was delayed,” he added.
While commending the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for ensuring a hitch-free exercise, he, however, noted that there were pockets of violence in some states of the federation during the election.
The former President of Sierra Leone added, “Most polling officials and ad-hoc staff demonstrated inadequate knowledge of their duties, especially with voting materials.
“The set-up of most of the polling units visited did not adequately protect the secrecy of the voting process.”
The Mission, therefore, called on INEC to ensure prompt transmission and declaration of the provisional results.
It also urged INEC to increase the frequency of communication on developments regarding the electoral process to the general public to discourage misinformation through social media.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, said, “ECOWAS will indeed follow results closely and continue to reach out to all stakeholders within the framework of our preventive diplomacy.”