Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Maureen Okpe

The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF),under the aegis of the Gender and Election Watch (GEW) Room founded to close the gender gaps in governance in Nigeria, has condemned reports of violence and INEC lapses in its preliminary findings of the on-going presidential election.

The organization stated this on Sunday in a statement signed by the Chief Executive Officer GEW NWTF, Mufuliat Fijabi lamenting, INEC’s officials late arrival to polling units and faulty Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) .

According to Fijabi reports received from 400 accredited observers deployed across the states of the federation reported pockets of security breaches and intimidation in the FCT, Kogi, Kano, Lagos, and Anambra.

She said, “In FCT, Garki Primary School 005 polling unit. Women were agitated and intimidated at the sight of armed police officers amongst voters. Lagos Surulere 081, 082 and 083 polling units, unauthorized armed men disrupted the voting process and forcefully carted away the ballot boxes and papers.

“Gabasawa 018 polling unit at 12:57pm, in Kano there was absence of security personnel, voting was disrupted as fighting broke out amongst voters. This led to women voters being scared away. 

“Also, in Anambra state, at the Uhrum PU 001, Poll officials were present but there was absence of security personnel as local vigilante groups were called in to intervene in the violence that erupted amongst the voters.Kogi Igalamela Ugbatutugba, Ward 2, PU001, violence was also recorded.

“In Doubeli Ward in Adamawa state, 02-20-01-001 polling unit, the polling staff had challenges with BVAS due to internet connectivity thus accreditation and voting started at about 9:55am. While in some polling units the ink for thumb printing were dry, thereby causing delay in the voting process. For instance, in Abuja, Gwarinpa Ward 37-06-05-072 delay was reported.

The Executive Director commended the resilience of women who stayed on into the early hours of Sunday to cast their vote despite heavy rainfall in some part of FCT, Rivers, Anambra, and Lagos states.

Fijabi also, lauded INEC as the elderly, pregnant women, nursing mothers and Persons With Disabilities were allowed priority voting.

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