British High Commission commends peaceful governorship election in Ekiti

The British High Commission has lauded Nigeria’s electoral body and the residents of Ekiti State for peaceful and democratic participation in the governorship election held on Saturday, June 18, 2022.

“As the first major election conducted since the enactment of the Electoral Act 2022, we commend the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies, our civil society partners, and all stakeholders for their collective effort in the successful conduct of the poll under the new legal framework,” a statement from the commission said.

Election observers sent by the British commission recorded improvements in the electoral process, including the timely opening of polls; better functioning of the Biometric Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) devices for accrediting voters, transparent and efficient electronic transmission of polling unit results to INEC’s results viewing portal.

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“We are concerned about reports of vote-buying during the election and call on the relevant authorities to hold any person involved accountable,” the observers said. “The buying and selling of votes has no place in a democracy.”

Similarly, the commission encouraged INEC to reflect on other potential improvements to the electoral process ahead of general elections in 2023, especially the re-distribution and assignment of voters to newly established polling units to reduce queuing; better awareness and implementation of electoral guidelines by INEC staff; and improved accessibility at polling units to help with the participation of persons with disabilities.

“The UK will continue to assist INEC and our partners in their aspiration to support peaceful, credible, and inclusive elections in Nigeria,” the statement read in part. “As the 2023 general elections draw closer, we encourage people to register and collect their PVCs and to participate actively in the political process. We urge any party or individual who is dissatisfied with the process to seek redress in a peaceful manner through the appropriate legal channels.”