The Women’s Situation Room Nigeria ( WSRN) has called for measures tackle to vote buying menace ahead of the Osun gubernatorial election and other subsequent elections across the country .
WSRNhad on the 18th of June , 2022 observed the Ekiti State gubernatorial elections. The WSRN with support from UN WOMEN and the Government of Canada ahead of the state’s election had conducted some pre-elections activities such as rapid assessment, advocacy and courtesy visits, stakeholders dialogues, peace walk and deployment of 60 women observers across the 16 LGAs of the state. These activities were geared towards reducing violence against women and also to promote women’s substantive participation in electoral process.
It is noteworthy that the Ekiti Governorship elections 2022 will be the first election to be conducted using the newly signed Electoral Act 2022, which provides an opportunity for an assessment of the implementation of the new Act.
The group in a statement signed by it’s National Convener, Professor Joy Prof Joy Onyesoh, stayed the Election Administration as at the Time of commencement of accreditation and voting
Reports from our observers on the field indicated the timely commencement of accreditation and voting.
“We had reports from our observers of timely commencement of the elections process across 90% of the polling units .
According to WSRN, There were few reports on issues centered on the BVAS malfunctioning and an aberration in the accreditation and voting processes.
“ in Ado Ekiti LGA. ward -7 unit -2 ,the number of voters were over 2,800 yet the number of BVAS present was just 1. This caused rowdiness in the poling unit and disenfranchising some voters from casting their votes.
She noted that this issue was escalated and INEC deployed an extra BVAS device to that unit . In Ado Ekiti polling unit 001 ward 6 , fingerprints were sparsely used for accreditation . It was more of taking of photograph on presentation of the PVC and uploading .
She also said ; INEC officials and materials
in majority of the LGAs had timely arrived.
“Time of arrival of security agencies
WSRN observers reported the late arrival of security agencies in some polling units such as in Ise/Orun LGA Ward 4, Unit 1 , Ekiti East Ward 2, Unit 6, Ekiti West Ward 2, Unit 19 . Additionally, at the time of the commencement of elections in these LGAs, the report from our observers was that security agencies were not present.
“We got feedbacks from the observers of 90% functionality of the BVAS and the few cases of malfunction was immediately handled by the INEC team. Another incident we identified with the use of the BVAS was in Moba LGA , Unit 5, Ward 1, the INEC team were using the BVAS to scan just the PVC which was not bringing up details of the voters, hence disenfranchising many.
According to the Women Situation Room Nigeria, Out of total population of 3,270,800 citizens in the state, according to INEC, 989,202 voters were registered for Ekiti state elections and 720,745 number of citizens had collected their PVCs. From the total number of voters, over 360,000 voters were said to have voted in the just concluded Ekiti State’s gubernatorial.
b. Participation of women
It will be noted that a good participation of women in the electoral process on the just concluded elections.
“We are still collating data and would be sharing in our final report.
There was no much Violence against women during the just concluded election.
“In as much we did not get specific reports on violence against women in the LGAs, we observed in few polling units some forms of violence. An instance was identified in Ado-Ekiti Ward 7, Unit 2 where we saw a large crowd of close to 2,000 persons and women being pushed while voters were struggling to vote due to the extended time it was taking to attend to the large number of voters
with just one BVAS. There were reports of physical violence in Ado-Ekiti LGA Ward 9,Unit 13 in Ifelodun LGA, Ward 9, Unit 6 and in Moba LGA Unit -9, Ward 1.
Vote buying This was the order of the day in all the LGAs/polling units as reported by observers and in few cases led to physical violence which were resolved by the security agencies. In Ado-Ekiti LGA Ward 13, Unit 11, our observers reported on a man being picked by DSS on grounds of vote buying.