Mr John Kuffour, former President of Ghana and Head of the ECOWAS Observer Mission (EOM) to oversee Nigeria’s 2015 general elections, on Sunday in Abuja declared the elections “credible and acceptable.”
EOM is an ECOWAS initiative which was set up for the purpose of monitoring general elections in member-states in order to consolidate democracy and good governance in the sub-region.
Kuffour said the conduct of the elections met all the criteria of being free, fair and transparent by international standards.
According to him, his team was satisfied with the performance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the political parties, security agencies and other stakeholders who were involved in the exercise.
He said that EOM had observed an impressive voter turnout with a commendable number of patient and disciplined women and young people who were actively involved in the electoral process.
EOM further observed that the agents of political parties were in attendance in most polling units which they visited and that officials of INEC complied with voting procedures and were, by and large, knowledgeable.
Kuffour said: “Security agents were present at most of the polling stations and on patrols in and around the cities as peaceful atmosphere prevailed in most parts of the country.
“The process of counting at the polling stations and the subsequent collations at designated centres were successful and in accordance with the Electoral Act.
“Some of the challenges the mission observed during the exercise included the late arrival of INEC officials in many polling stations and malfunctioning of Card Readers across the country.’’
The EOM Leader said that the mission further observed some challenges in the election exercise, particularly delayed accreditation and voting, which stemmed from insufficient and/or non-availability of electoral materials in some polling units.
“Despite efforts by the relevant agencies to secure the electoral exercise, explosions were also recorded in some parts of the country.
“Cases of attempt to snatch ballot papers were reported in some polling stations leading to instances of uproar, shootings and sporadic violence in the affected polling stations,’’ he said.