INEC’s shoddy preparations as well as internally and externally induced sabotage dash hopes of efficient management of Nigeria’s Elections 2023.

INEC is the Independent National Electoral Commission, the agency supervising presidential, national assembly, and federal capital elections in Nigeria.

Frontrunners for presidency election include Atiku Abubakar (PDP) Peter Gregory Obi (LP) and Bola Ahmed Tinubu (APC).

Despite assurances that it has all factors locked down for a seamless vote, the first leg of Nigeria’s 2023 elections turned out to be a big letdown.

At least two persons reportedly died while viral social media footages showed pockets of violence fomented by political thugs nationwide.

Observers and journalists reported widespread cases of voter intimidation, voter suppression, and underage voters shooed in to cast ballots.

A State Police Commissioner defended the child voters, speculating that they could be adults with “stunted growth.” At any rate, there was nothing he could do if electoral officials cleared them to vote, he said.

A few of the violent online video clips betrayed active support of security agents and officials of the Commission (INEC).

Citizen complaints were legion. They include late arrival of INEC officials, omission of names and logo of parties, inability to upload election results. They also reported disruption and destruction of votes by politicians, including state governors.

The Secretary-General of the Word Trade Organisation, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, took to Twitter to complain that election officials were yet to arrive her community in Abia State.

Election officials themselves reported widespread electoral malpractices. In President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state of Katsina, the state returning officer noted that the presidential election results were cancelled in many polling units. He specifically mentioned Baure, Danmusa, Dutsinma, Funtua, Kafur, Kankara, Katsina, Kurfi, Kusada, Mai’adua, Malumfashi, Mashi, Sabuwa and Safana LGAs.

Widespread thuggery, insecurity, resistance, violence, and obstruction constituted barriers that led to cancellation of the results, he said.

Hopes that technology will facilitate efficient management of the process were yesterday dashed by INEC’s shoddy preparations. The Commission acknowledged that hackers compromised its central servers experienced glitches. It later said that its central server that houses the national results was compromised by hackers.

Despite the great disappointment with the Commission, the agency yesterday opened its collation centre to announce results.

It however adjourned the exercise after announcing half-results in most states. INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu promised to return today 27 February 2023 by 11.00 a.m. to continue announcing the results.


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