An INEC accredited election observer civil society organization, Voters Awareness Initiative (VAI) has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Nigerians for a successful and credible conduct of the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly election.
In a press statement issued in Lagos today Sunday 26th February 2023 by its president Barrister Wale Ogunade Esq., the group commended “The resilience and perseverance of eligible Nigerians voters for coming out on election day to cast their votes for candidates of their choice in this trying times”. According to Ogunade, “We are thrilled by the peaceful conduct of the election in most of the polling stations across states of the federation save for the pockets of disturbances in some selected polling stations in some states which is condemnable, but is not enough to undermine the success and credibility of the election”.
However, the group noted that in it’s observation of the election through the deployment of over 100 observers across states in the 6 geopolitical zones and reports monitored via other observer groups and the media, it must highlight the fact that there were some observed and reported hitches with regards to late arrivals of INEC personnel and materials at some polling stations as well as BVAS machine hitches, but on the overall assessment of the process based on our observation, the late arrivals and BVAS machine hiccups is too insignificant to taint the credibility of the election which is highly commendable.
The group also commended the security agencies for their professionalism, dedication, unbiased conduct and scientific deployment of security apparatus which contributed in no small measure to the success, credibility and peaceful conduct of the election.
Voters Awareness Initiative (VAI) congratulated the local and international observer groups for a job weldone in the objective and professional discharge of their functions in the conduct of the election.
The media was also appreciated for it’s professional and objective coverage and reportage of the election which was a great contributory factor to the successful conduct of the election.
Voters Awareness Initiative (VAI) commended the party agents for their peaceful and responsible conduct which is a radical departure from the past and contributed to the peace, success and credibility of the election.
The group noted that unfortunately, anti democratic elements and agents of destabilization have unleashed an avalanche of fake news, fake election results, doctored audio and videos into the public space with a view to misleading and inciting public unrest. VAI then used the occasion of the press statement to call on the security agencies to investigate the sources of the fake news, results, audio and videos with a view to bringing the full weight of the law on this agents
Voters Awareness Initiative is saddened and condemn in the strongest terms, the anti democratic calls from expected quarters for the cancellation of an election whose results have not been officially announced even when incontrovertible evidence on ground point to the fact that it has been conducted in substantial compliance with provisions of the electoral Act.
As Nigerians await the official final declaration of results, the group called on INEC not to be distracted by the campaign of blackmail and calumny, but to remain focused and resolute in the discharge of it’s functions in accordance with the provisions of the electoral Act, just as it charged Nigerians to remain calm, peaceful and committed to democracy and not to be incited to violence by agents of anarchy who don’t wish us well.