By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Police Chaplains Electoral Observation Mission in Nigeria, and eight Domestic Observers that monitored Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections have described the poll as a sign of the country’s political maturity.
The mission, which is the arm of the International Police Chaplain Sustainable Development and Law Enforcement (IPCSL) Inc., USA, said this while presenting their preliminary report on Wednesday in Abuja.
Other groups are the Grassroots Empowerment Initiative for Positive Change and Development, Voters Awareness Initiative, Society for the Protection of Human Rights and African Civil Society Forum.
They also include Africa Youths International Development Foundation, Pan African Leadership League, Centre for Strategic Conflicts Management, and Youth and Public Safety Awareness Initiative, monitored the election across the country.
Presenting the preliminary report on the election, the Head of IPCSL Mission, Col. Johaness Makouvia, described the exercise as peaceful.
Makouvia said the process conformed with the international standard, adding that the discreet presence of the security forces in most of the polling centers allowed for the peaceful conduct of the voting process.
According to him, electoral law stipulates that voting is secret and that each polling station has at least one voting booth, saying the mission observed compliance with this provision in the polling stations visited.
He added that it helped to guarantee the secrecy of the vote, adding that voting in the polling stations observed, was well attended in the morning, but the pace slowed in the afternoon.
“Overall turnout was orderly and calm, and voters cast their ballots peacefully without major incidents.
“The mission found that, in general, voting procedures were followed by polling station officials.
“An average of four candidate delegates were present at each polling station.
“The majority of delegates were from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and the Labour Party (LP).
“The IPCSL found that candidate delegates were able to freely exercise their mission in the polling stations observed.
“This is a sign of political maturity that contributed to the normal functioning of the polling stations”, the group said.
The National Commandant, IPSCL in Nigeria, Blessing Akinlosotu, said that IPCSL deployed 178 observers he Election Day and visited 2,297 polling stations throughout the country.
Akinlosotu said that 66 per cent of polling stations opened on time at 8:30 am, while 34 per cent opened late due to late installation of equipment. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola