Election Day Press Statement on the Presidential and National Assembly Elections

23 February 2019

Preamble:

The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) Gender and Election Watch (GEW) deployed 290 observers across states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the 2019 General Elections.  NWTF GEW observations are informed by reports obtained from the observers deployed and calls on the Five (5) GEW hotlines from across the country.

GEW observed the 2019 National elections through the gender lens; focusing on female voters compared to male voters, gender mix of security agents, poll workers, accredited observers, media personnel and party agents.

NWTF GEW observes as follows:

  1. Massive voter turn-out;
  2. Priority voting for PWDs, nursing and pregnant women as well as the elderly;
  3. Separate queues based on gender;
  4. Effective deployment of security agencies;
  5. There was good gender mix of security agents, observers, accredited journalist, party agents and poll workers;
  6. The election was generally peaceful even though there were reported pockets of violence in some states;
  7. Enforcement of the restriction of movement order;
  8. Presence of media, domestic and international observers;
  9. Presence of the elderly showing commitment and participation in the election;
  10. A high number of young voter turn out;
  11. An extension of voting time to make up for the late commencement in some of the polling units.

Challenges were observed around the following:

  1. Late arrival of INEC personnel to some of the polling units;
  2. Delayed opening of polls due to late arrival of polling officials in some of the polling units;
  3. Presence of braille ballot guide for the visually impaired in some of the polling units. However, there were no magnifying glasses sighted in polling units visited;
  4. Malfunction card readers in some polling units, though some were resolved;
  5. Poor crowd control in some polling units with large voting population;
  6. Some voters could not find their names on INEC voter register despite having the right PVCs and being at the right polling units;
  7. Some of the Adhoc-Staff did not have good working knowledge of the voting procedures;
  8. In some polling units, there was no secrecy of the ballot;
  9. Some of the polling units were not accessible to persons with disabilities.

GEW therefore recommends as follows:

  1. Ensure early arrival of all poll workers to their polling units;
  2. Better training of Adhoc – staff, particularly those handling the smart card reader;
  3. Better crowd control in polling units with large voting population;
  4. INEC in future should educate voters through appropriate channels on how to identify polling units and points;
  5. The gender mix of security agents, observers, accredited journalists, party agents and poll workers should be sustained;
  6. Security agents should sustain their level of professionalism and remain vigilant;
  7. Nigerians should continue to remain calm and conduct themselves in a peaceful manner and shun all acts of violence.

GEW Hotlines: +234-9062782773, 9062782774, 9062782779

Signed:

For Gender and Election Watch (GEW) Room

of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF).

Ms. Mufuliat Fijabi

Chief Executive Officer

 

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