The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has expressed disappointment over the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly (NASS) elections.
In a statement signed by the Convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, Ene Obi, the Situation Room, expressed disappointment with the conduct of the elections, which it believes fell short of the credibility threshold set out for evaluating the polls.
The Situation Room launched its Credibility Threshold for the 2023 General Election in December 2021, outlining twelve criteria as minimum requirements for evaluating the credibility of the elections.
Despite expectations that innovative reforms introduced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would lead to efficient and accountable election management, the Situation Room observed severe logistical and operational failure, lack of essential electoral transparency, substantial disruption of voting, and several incidents of violence.
As a result of the shortcomings outlined in the interim statement, the Group calls on INEC to provide details of the process leading up to the collation of results for the elections. It has also demanded that INEC conducts an audit of polling units where elections did not take place to establish the reasons for the failure.
Furthermore, the Group calls on all political parties and aggrieved parties to pursue well-established constitutional and legal remedies available to them and go through the democratic process of the courts.
The Situation Room commends Nigerians for the increased turnout recorded during the voting and calls for restraint even in the light of INEC’s failings while urging citizens to remain calm and express their displeasure, if need be, through peaceful and democratic means.
In conclusion, the Situation Room has states that public confidence in INEC’s capacity to run elections is gravely shaken, and it would require extraordinary efforts for trust to be re-established.