Enugu LG polls: Press Statement issued by coalition of ENSIEC-accredited civil society domestic election observers for the Enugu State Local Government Election 2017

The Election – General Observation:

The Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) conducted elections in the 17 Local Government Areas and 260 State Wards for Chairmanship and Councillorship seats respectively on the 4m of November, 2017 as scheduled in line with the state electoral laws.

Our team of observers been duly accredited by EN SIEC to observe the election divided ourselves into three groups for each of the three Senatorial Districts in the State for adequate observation and reportage across the State. We therefore observed the election as thus:

Ø The Enugu State   Government Elections actually took place as scheduled on the 4th  of November, 2017 in all the Local Government Areas of the State.

Ø The Election was calm, peaceful, orderly and of course transparent without any unlawful interference though there were reported cases of complains in some Local Government Areas as a result of late arrival of election materials.

Ø The election was well contested by several political parties and all the political parties received a level playing ground, The participated political parties includes; APC, PDP, APGA, among others.

Ø We observed that ENSIEC was very careful to make available all the election materials both sensitive and non-sensitive to their polling units in good time, although there were reports of late arrival of election materials in some place like Orji River, Udi, Enugu South, etc which resulted to late commencement of elections in the areas.

Ø There was a reported case/observation of commotion in some polling units in Orji River, Udi; LGAS but the timely intervention of security personnel quickly restored peace. While an agreement for peaceful conduct was unanimously reached by political party agents, the process continued and was concluded peacefully.

Ø We observed that there was high turnout of voters in urban centres While relative low turnout were seen in remotely rural areas.

Ø We also observed that the restriction of vehicular movement was not Well enforced.

Ø There was an obvious and encouraging presence of Security personnel.

Ø We also observed that the restriction of vehicular movement was not well-enforced.

Ø There was an encouraging participation of women in the election.

Recommendation:

Following the above observation and to improve on our electoral process, we wish to recommend the following;

  1. a)     Priority should be given to the difficult terrains and very far LGAS, Communities, etc in the State While distributing election materials to ensure quick and timely commencement of election in such areas.
  2. b)    The State Government and the Election Management Body should engage committed Civil Society groups on an intensive civic voter education, sensitization and mobilization ahead of every election. This will go a long in encouraging and improving voter participation in elections.
  3. c)     The chanting of political party songs, display of symbols by party supporters in polling units should be stopped to avoid violent confrontation by other party supporters.
  4. d)    Political parties should ensure a Wide spread presence of their party agents in all the polling unities for effective party representation during elections,

Commendation:

  1. Our team commends the Election Management Body (Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission) for its Wonderful preparation in providing all the needed logistics and materials on time which actually encouraged the success of the election.
  2. The various Security Agencies, particularly the Nigeria Police Enugu State Command are hereby applauded for providing a secure and peaceful environment for the election.
  3. We appreciate the people of Enugu State for their proper conduct during and after the election, especially for showing maturity and putting away the stings of violence.

Conclusion:

We conclude by saying that the November 4m Enugu State Local Government Elections actually took place as scheduled under a conducive and peaceful at1nosphere.  The election was very peaceful across the entire LGAS visited by our teams.

We therefore adjudge it to have met the accepted standards in line with the State Electoral Laws. Hence the result should be accepted by all the candidates and political parties as a true reflection of the Wishes and decisions of the electorates.

The Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) should therefore, go ahead to immediately issue Certificate of Return to the Winners so declared for immediate issue of Office and swearing in for them to swing into action in their various LGAS and Wards for constitutional and effective governance and representation in the grassroots.

Once again, we commend the Enugu State Government for considering it necessary to conduct a local government election in the State, as a respect and value to our constitution as a nation.

Thank you and God bless.

Signed:-      The under-listed ENSIEC-accredited Groups:

Comrade Kalu Victor  –  Team Leader

Hon. Daniel Nkpanam – Team Secretary

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