2023 elections: International Police observers laud INEC

The presidential and national assembly elections on Saturday were observed by the Police Chaplains Electoral Observation Mission in Nigeria and eight domestic observers, who characterised the vote as evidence of the nation’s political maturity.

This was stated by the mission, a branch of the International Police Chaplain Sustainable Development and Law Enforcement (IPCSL) Inc., USA, on Wednesday in Abuja when presenting their initial findings.

Other organisations include the African Civil Society Forum, Voters Awareness Initiative, Society for the Protection of Human Rights, and Grassroots Empowerment Initiative for Positive Change and Development.

They also kept tabs on the election nationwide through the Youth and Public Safety Awareness Initiative, Pan African Leadership League, Africa Youths International Development Foundation, and Centre for Strategic Conflicts Management.

Presenting the preliminary report on the election, the Head of IPCSL Mission, Col. Johaness Makouvia, described the exercise as peaceful.

Makouvia said the process conformed with the international standard, adding that the discreet presence of the security forces in most of the polling centers allowed for the peaceful conduct of the voting process.

According to him, electoral law stipulates that voting is secret and that each polling station has at least one voting booth, saying the mission observed compliance with this provision in the polling stations visited.

He added that it helped to guarantee the secrecy of the vote, adding that voting in the polling stations observed, was well attended in the morning, but the pace slowed in the afternoon.

“Overall turnout was orderly and calm, and voters cast their ballots peacefully without major incidents.

“The mission found that, in general, voting procedures were followed by polling station officials.

“An average of four candidate delegates were present at each polling station.

“The majority of delegates were from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and the Labour Party (LP).

“The IPCSL found that candidate delegates were able to freely exercise their mission in the polling stations observed.

“This is a sign of political maturity that contributed to the normal functioning of the polling stations”, the group said.

The National Commandant, IPSCL in Nigeria, Blessing Akinlosotu, said that IPCSL deployed 178 observers he Election Day and visited 2,297 polling stations throughout the country.

Akinlosotu said that 66 per cent of polling stations opened on time at 8:30 am, while 34 per cent opened late due to late installation of equipment. (NAN)

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