Abuja - The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has said that Satursday's FCT elections were rife with vote buying across the six area councils with residents selling their votes for a low as N200.
A preliminary statement of elections signed by the group's spokesman Armsfree Ajanaku also said that the city centre witnessed voter apathy leading to low turn out compares to the rural areas that recorded high volume of voters especially elderly women.
"TMG deployed 34 roving observers across the six Area Councils of the FCT to assess compliance with INEC guidelines in the course of the electoral process. The methodology for observing the election was based on a model of four observers per Area Council. These observation efforts were complemented by two teams of 10 roving observers.
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"Observers assessed the electoral process using a checklist of questions tracking the number of poll officials, availability of election materials, the functionality of the Smart Card Reader, as well as compliance with the use of the Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) in the accreditation process," Ajanaku said.
He said observers reported that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) largely arrived on time with sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the commencement of the simultaneous processes of accreditation and voting at 8am and that in most Polling Units in the city centre and in the outskirts the processes of accreditation were underway in most places at 9am.
The report said the card readers read most of the PVCs in the observed PU but that in many instances, finger print authentication failed.
It said voters were however not disenfranchised as they were passed on to the next stage of the process, using the incident forms.
On security the TMG statement observed a healthy presence of security in most of the PUs but noted an unusually heavy presence of a combined security team made of Nigerian Army officers and regular policemen at PU 003 at Dangara Kwali Ward 01.
"In PUs in areas around the city-centre, TMG observers reported low turnout of voters. Early voter turnout was also low in some PUs in AMAC when compared to Bwari, Karu and Kuje where voters turned out was massive and early. Turnout was sizeable and a lot more enthusiastic in areas Area Councils like Kwali, Gwagwalada, Abaji, Bwari and Kuje.
"However, the high turnout in these areas was tainted by a corresponding high observed incidents of vote buying, with prospective voters selling their votes for amounts ranging between N200 and N500.
Voter apathy was observed in most city centre areas observed by TMG. There was a strong presence of women voters especially in rural areas, including Gwagwalada, Abaji, Kuje, Bwari and Kwali," the report said.
- News 24