For Immediate Release
Saturday, 18th June 2022
CLEEN FOUNDATION PRELIMINARY STATEMENT ON 2022 EKITI STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION
In line with the commitment of the CLEEN Foundation to the promotion of public safety and security in Nigeria, the foundation deployed thirty-two (32) “Citizens Election Observers” to the sixteen (16) Local Government Areas to observe the conduct of Security Personnel deployed in Ekiti State on election duty in the Ekiti State 2022 Governorship Election, holding today 18th June 2022.
This preliminary statement provides a synopsis of key observations of the CLEEN Foundation on the 2022 Governorship Election in Ekiti State, and the extent to which security agencies and other stakeholders in the process adhered to extant laws and electoral regulatory guidelines governing the conduct of the poll.
The Election Security Support Centre of CLEEN Foundation tracked, monitored, documented, escalated and followed up on security related developments across the sixteen (16) LGAs of Ekiti State, where our citizen observers were deployed. CLEEN Foundation deployed the “CLEEN Mobile App” which allows our observers to report in real-time security developments in the election and other related issues in their respective areas of observation. The following issues are highlighted as part of our preliminary report as at 12 noon on Election Day June 18th, 2022.
3.0 Opening of Poll
3.1 Arrivals: Observations across the sixteen (16) Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Ekiti State show early arrival of INEC staff and materials as well as voters for the polls across the state. This was observed in 85% of the Polling Units covered, INEC officials were reported to be present as at 07:30 am.
4.0 Security Related Observations
4.1 Early Arrivals of Security personnel: According to the report from CLEEN’s Citizens Observers, 24% of security personnel arrived at the polling units before 7:00 am, 69% arrived before 8:00 am while 7% arrived after 8:00 am. This indicates that 93% of security personnel arrived early at the polling units across the 16 LGAs in Ekiti state. Specifically, CLEEN observers in PU 008, ward 004 in Ikere LGA, security personnel arrived 7:30 am in the company of INEC officials. At PU 007, ward 01 in Efon LGA, the security personnel arrived at 7:39 am. In PU 006, ward 06 in Ikole LGA, the security personnel arrived at 7:40 am.
4.2 Possession of Firearms: The CLEEN Foundation Election Security Support Centre (ESSC) observed that the security personnel at the polling units were not armed in compliance with the rules guiding the elections. All our CLEEN Foundation citizen observers reported that security personnel at the polling units were not armed. Armed security personnel were seen, however, they maintained a reasonable distance from the polling units.
4.3 Adequacy of Security Personnel: CLEEN Foundation observed that 69% of the polling units had three or more presence of the security personnel, 21% of the polling units had two security personnel while 9% of the polling units had one security personnel and 1% of the polling units had no security personnel at all.
4.4 Identification of Security Personnel: A total of 97% of security personnel were observed to wear easily identifiable name tags while 3% were not wearing easily identifiable name tags.
4.5 Approachability of Security Agents: CLEEN observers reported that 41% of the security personnel were very approachable, 45% were approachable, 10% were somewhat approachable while 4% were not approachable.
4.6 Feeling of Safety of Polling Units: A total of 48% of CLEEN Foundation observers reported to have felt very safe and secured at the polling units, 38% felt safe and secured while 14% felt somewhat safe and secured.
4.7 Impartiality of Security Personnel: The majority of the security personnel were observed to be impartial in the discharge of their duty as 21%, 31%, 3%, 41% were observed to be very impartial, impartial, somewhat impartial and Not impartial at all respectively.
4.8 Overall Conduct of Security Personnel: CLEEN Foundation observed that 90% of security personnel deployed on election duty were of good conduct while 7% of the security personnel were reported to be of fair conduct and 3% were of bad conduct. CLEEN Foundation received reports of security personnel collecting money from a politician and sharing among themselves. This happened at PU 009, ward 2 Okeruke in Ikere LGA of Ekiti state.
5.0 General Observations
5.1 Impressive Turn Out of Electorates: CLEEN Foundation observed a good turn-out of voters across the polling units in the 16 LGAs of Ekiti state. Images captured by CLEEN Foundation observers show an impressive turnout of electorates.
5.2 Functionality of BVAS: CLEEN Foundation observed an improvement in the functionality of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) as it was observed to be widely used across all polling units. However, in Moba LGA, Igogo ward 2 PU 016; 017 and 018 the BVAS malfunctioned as both fingerprint and facial recognition failed. In Ekiti East LGA, Ward 6, PU4, Obadore 1, Omuo-Ekiti, Ekiti East LGA and at Ikere, Ward 10, PU 14, all also had issues of BVAS malfunctioning. These were escalated to INEC and were all resolved.
5.3 Inclusivity/Priority Voting: INEC gave priority to the elderly, pregnant women and persons with disability in the process. For instance, in Ijero LGA, Arokodare, Ward D, PU 003 the elderly and pregnant women voted first. However, in Ekiti South-West LGA, Ward 8, PU 12 a woman with a baby was not given priority voting as she was seen standing in line. Also noted were the improved participation of women and youth in the electoral process.
5.4 Vote Trading: CLEEN Foundation observed vote trading during the process, for instance at PU 003, Ward D, Arokodare, Ijero LGA incidences of vote trading were recorded. Party agents were seen inducing voters in favour of their parties, tallies were handed over to them as a form of a cheque to be cashed out at an unidentified location. Also, in Ekiti-West LGA, PU 09, Ward 7 Ipole-Iloro, there was a collaboration between security and party agents to induce voters with money. However, at PU 02 Ilawe, Ward 1, Ekiti-South West LGA, fighting broke out at the polling unit because voters rejected money from party thugs. Similar incident also occurred at PU 003, ward D in Ijero LGA.
In view of the foregoing, the CLEEN Foundation commends the good people of Ekiti state for turning out en-mass to perform their civic duty. CLEEN also commends the Independent National Electoral Commission for the noticeable improvement in the conduct of the Ekiti state governorship election especially the near absence of logistics challenges that had remained a perennial issue for the electoral umpire before now. CLEEN Foundation applauds the security agencies particularly the Nigeria Police Force as the lead agency in election security management in Nigeria for the good conduct of its security personnel thus far. CLEEN calls on INEC and security agencies to maintain this level of professionalism till the end of the election. Overall, the election has been peaceful so far.
God bless Ekiti State
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Acting Executive Director