Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
In a post-election analysis in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States, one time presidential aspirant and board member of the Kimpact Development Initiative (KDI), Prof. Remi Sonaya, has pointed out that one of the issues responsible for none credible elections in the country is the high stakes that have been placed on the process.
She said moving forward, there was the need to have a national conversation in which regrettably, the politicians were not willing to engage in.
Sonaya stated this in Abuja, yesterday, during a press briefing organised by KDI on “election day processes and procedures, potential for violence and electoral violence reports on November 11, 2023 off-cycle governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states.”
She said the data gathered indicated that in 77.42% of the polling units in Bayelsa State, election officials and materials arrived between the hours of 7 am and 8:30 am. In Kogi state, 73.91% of polling units also witnessed the early arrival of election officers and election materials. However, the case differed in Imo, where the early arrival of election officers and materials was 47.89% of the polling units observed.
She added that there were reports of several party agents interfering in the process in some of the polling units observed and they were either seen intimidating and harassing ad-hoc officials or voters they have known, or seen not supporting their party in some polling units.
“It is a collective responsibility to take our country back. We must not be at the mercy of politicians and that’s why there must be a national conversation in which the politicians are not ready for such.
“Another fundamental issue is that the stakes are too high for elections in Nigeria. We must begin to think very drastically and out of the box.
“In some cases, these polling agents were also seen disrupting the voting process and aided the snatching of ballot boxes in some locations where violence happened,” she said.