The conduct surrounding the recently-conducted election was were not in conformity with international best practice going by the evaluations of notable foreign observers.
This position was unanimously expressed by the European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission Nigeria 2019, the joint international observation mission of the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and the Integrity Friends for Truth and Peace Initiative (TIFPI) in their preliminary reports on the elections.
The EU noted there were “inconsistent numbers, lack of clear checks and explanations, and insufficient public information.”
It noted that “it is not in line with international standards for access to information and public accountability.
“Polling for the federal election was cancelled in a larger number of polling units across the country; covering nearly 2.8m registered voters. This was four times more than in 2015.
“While this number did not affect the outcome given the margin of win, this was not a good process.
“INEC did not provide sufficient information on these cancellations, the specific reasons for them, and the precise local government areas affected. This undermines public confidence in the process,” the EU noted for the presidential and National Assembly elections.
In the NDI/IRI preliminary statement on Nigeria’s March 9 elections presented by the duo of the Senior Associate and Regional Director for Central and West Africa (NDI), Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, and the Regional Director for Africa IRI, John Tomaszewski, they noted that while there were improvements in the administration of the state-level elections, it was yet marred by irregularities.
A joint statement issued by the duo reads, “Instances of intimidation, vote-buying and violent acts during the voting, counting, and collation processes in some places.
“Incidents of violence and disruption to the balloting process were observed in Lagos, Benue. Rivers and Nasarawa states. The delegation was informed of the loss of life as a result of election-day violence.
“The mission deplores these losses and expresses its deepest condolences to the bereaved and to the Nigerian people.
“These actions and the impunity with which some electoral actors conducted themselves, including some polling agents and members of the military, undermine citizen confidence in elections and threaten the legitimacy of Nigeria’s democracy.”