EU Justifies Conduct of Supplementary Elections in Kano State

Posted by:Abubakar Dundu

The European Union Election Observation Mission EU EOM)  in Nigeria, 2019, says supplementary elections were conducted in Kano as a result of failure to use smart card readers and over-voting in the March 9th Governorship and state Assembly election in Kano state.

The EU EOM Chief Observer, Marie Arena, while presenting its final report at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja on Saturday, observes that the rerun elections were also held due to the cancellation of a number of polling units on 9 March.

‘’This followed elections being declared inconclusive due to the cancellation of a number of polling units on 9 March, and the total number of voters affected being more than the margin of lead. INEC listed electoral misconduct, violence, failure to use smart card readers and over-voting as the reasons for the cancellations.

‘’Manual accreditation procedures were not always correctly followed if card readers failed to authenticate fingerprints. The secrecy of the vote was not always sufficiently protected in nearly one-third of polling units observed,’’ she adds.

On the conduct of the supplementary elections, the EU mission notes that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) improved logistical arrangements with most polling units observed open within half an hour of the official opening time, adding that ‘’in the 40 polling units that EU teams could fully observe, procedures were mostly followed.’’

According to her: ‘’for security reasons, collation of results in two of 29 LGAs in Kano had to be undertaken at the state collation center. EU observers visited 12 collation centers and observed party agents present in all. EU observers noted that overall collation procedures were followed and the process was generally transparent.’’
Arena says Nigeria has made significant improvements from previous elections in the country though with some areas that needed urgent remedy to prevent recurrence, saying that lots of recommendations the Observation Mission had made in 2015 had been addressed by the current administration in the 2019 elections.