CLEEN foundation has observed that the outcome of the just concluded Kogi/ Bayelsa state governorship elections has implication for election security management and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria.
The foundation also expressed concern that key stakeholders such as Politicians, INEC and security agencies have not taken lessons from previous elections in preparation for the just concluded gubernatorial elections.
The Executive Director of CLEEN foundation, Dr Benson Olugbuo in a press statement issued yesterday in Abuja explained that the reoccurrence of past issues/lapses and problems associated with management of elections in Nigeria on the part of INEC and security agencies.
According to him, It appears that the country is retrogressing rather than building on the electoral gains made in the past.
He recommended that the Federal government should commence the process of amending the electoral act in preparation for off cycle elections and the 2023 general elections to include the Establishment of Electoral Offences Commission and criminalize vote trading.
He said INEC should consider and implement electronic voting to reduce physical contact with election materials for future elections to reduce electoral violence.
He said the Electoral reforms should prioritize holding accountable politicians that have remained the greatest security threat to democracy in Nigeria.
“INEC and stakeholders should harmonize and standardize the training modules on Election Security Management ahead of elections to be used to train security personnel ahead of elections.
“ The CLEEN observers noted that most of the security personnel at the polling unit were impartial and few were not impartial at all during the elections across the polling units observed in all the LGA areas in Bayelsa and Kogi state respectively.
“Generally, CLEEN observers noted that voters in Bayelsa state felt safe and secure more that voters in Kogi state.
“ Majority of these threats were not well handled by the security personnel at the polling units.
“This explains the situation of no resistance by political thugs in shooting and snatching ballot boxes in Bayelsa and Kogi states respectively,” he said