Following the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections, a group, Initiative to Save Democracy (ISD) has expressed satisfaction at the process, even as it commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) “ensuring a successful election without any interference from government and international agents.”
In a statement released in Abuja on Tuesday, the group said it observed there were challenges experienced across the country during the elections: the late delivery of materials and arrival of polling officials in some places, violence in some areas and activities of thugs but added that against all odds “arrival of electoral materials at units was still recorded at over 80%.
The statement signed by the ISD’s president, Sunday Akinloye James, said: “We want to express our satisfaction at the just concluded February 23rd Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives election held across the 36states of the federation.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has indeed done a great job in ensuring a successful election without any interference from government and international agents.
“However, we observed that there are were challenges experienced across the country during the elections: the late delivery of materials and arrival of polling officials in some places, violence in some areas and activities of thugs.
Against all odds, arrival of electoral materials at units was still recorded at over 80%.
“An item we believe must be improved on is communication by INEC to members of the public and major stakeholders as this will further project their institution as transparent, uncompromised, unbiased and credible.
“It is safe to say that INEC has redeemed its almost battered image by successfully conducting a difficult election with 71 Presidential candidates on the ballot, the difficulty that arises from this abundance of candidates cannot be overemphasized.”
The statement also commended the Nigerian Police and other security agencies for their maturity at the polling units.
“We would like to also commend the institution of the Nigerian Police and security agencies in all polling units. Despite some irregularities that they could not contain, they were largely able to maintain peaceful conduct in a majority of polling units and also restored peace in areas that had outbreaks of violence.
“Our special commendation is to the Nigeria Army that was on ground and responsive to people’s calls to their situation room.
“Finally, we congratulate Nigerians for their considerably impressive turnout in ensuring a successful conduct and ensuring that their votes counted despite the circumstances of postponement which we feared would lead to voter apathy. They are the winners. They have shown that the Nigerian people are patriotic and poised to ensuring that democracy is indeed the government of the people, by the people and for the people.”