Preliminary Media Statement On The 2023 Presidential Elections By Cleen Foundation Election Security Support Centre
Gentlemen of the press, the mandate of the Election Security Support Centre is to observe and assess the activities of the security agencies before, during and after the elections. CLEEN Foundation deployed roving observers in the 109 Senatorial Districts. Preliminary reports from the Senatorial Districts indicate that, despite some reported delays, the elections appear to be going on according to the standards for democratic elections to which Nigeria has committed itself.
The CLEEN Foundation Election Security Support Centre (ESSC) deployed 109 trained INEC-accredited observers and is also liaising with a sizable number of citizen observers across the country covering the 109 senatorial zones in Nigeria. The roving observers were equipped with the CLEEN Mobile App that enabled the transmission of real-time data to the ESSC. In addition, CLEEN Foundation set up real-time multi-communication platforms (WhatsApp and Zoom) to receive real-time incidents across the 36 states and FCT. These were complemented with secondary information from credible media sources. The ESSC received calls and messages from citizens in different states which were escalated to INEC and Security agencies for appropriate action.
3.0 OPENING OF POLL
The Election commenced early in most polling units before 9:00 am. However, in Kogi, Ebonyi, Imo, Enugu, and Abia States observers reported delays due to the late arrival of INEC staff and voting materials.
3.1 Arrivals: .
In the following states Delta, Ebonyi, Imo, Ondo, and some part of Lagos late arrival of security personnel were reported in some polling units.
4.0 SECURITY-RELATED OBSERVATIONS
4.1 Early Arrivals of Security personnel:
CLEEN observers reported that 47.1% of the security personnel in the polling units visited were on duty between 7:00 am and 8:30 am.
4.2 Adequacy of Security Personnel:
Data gathered from the CLEEN ESSC show that over 80% of the polling units have at least two or more security agents. However, in 19% of the polling units observed, only one security personnel were present.
4.3 Identification of Security Personnel:
CLEEN Foundation ESSC observed that in almost all the polling units observed security agents were wearing easily visible and identifiable name tags in compliance with the Electoral Act.
4.4 Approachability of Security Agents:
The information from CLEEN observers indicates that most of the security personnel on election duty were civil and approachable.
4.5 Feeling of Safety of Polling Units:
CLEEN Foundation observers across the states reported that they felt safe and secure at the polling units.
4.6 Impartiality of Security Personnel:
The majority of CLEEN’s observers reported that security personnel in the polling units visited acted professionally and impartially towards the voters.
4.7 Overall Conduct of Security Personnel:
CLEEN Foundation Election Security Support Centre observed that most security personnel were of good conduct at the various polling units.
5.0 GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
5.1 Suspected Deaths: CLEEN Foundation received the report of the alleged killing of a box snatcher at Ate-iji polling unit in Anyigba, Dekina LGA.
5.2 Turn Out of Electorates:
The CLEEN Election Security Support Centre observers reported a reportedly high rate of voter turnout.
5.4 Functionality of BVAS: .
Observers deployed by CLEEN Foundation reported from polling units visited that the BVAS functioned reasonably well. However, a BVAS machine that was meant for a different unit was deployed to Polling Unit 004, Ward Dan Mangu Zodu, in Bassa LGA in Plateau State. Again our observer in Polling Unit 012, Ilesha Ward, Baruten LGA in Kwara State reported that the BVAS thumbprint failed to capture any registered voter as at 10:50 am.
CLEEN Foundation commends the people of Nigeria for their peaceful conduct and turnout so far. CLEEN also commends the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and most especially the Nigeria Police Force and other law enforcement agencies for the professional conduct of their personnel. CLEEN Foundation urges the electorate to remain peaceful to the end of the elections and thereafter.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
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