FIDA Nigeria Preliminary Statement On The 2022 Osun State Governorship Election
FIDA Nigeria through her situation room situated in Oshogbo and Abuja respectively observed the participation of women and persons with disabilities at the Osun State Governorship Election held on Saturday 16th July 2022 through trained citizen observers deployed across the Local Government Areas of Osun State.
FIDA Nigeria with support from Goree Institute under the Charter Africa Project has tracked pre-election incidents ahead of the Osun Governorship Election which was disseminated to the public via our pre-election statement released on Thursday 14th July 2022. We have deployed our monitoring tool via our citizen observers which will be used in documenting election incidences promoting violence against women and persons with disabilities at the polls. Other information relating to election incidents are obtained from credible media sources and civil society actors respectively. FIDA Nigeria continues to closely watch the process across the thirty (30) Local Government Areas of the State until it is concluded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The following issues are highlighted as part of our preliminary report:
2.1. Commencement of Polls
Reports across the Local Government Areas in Osun state observed indicate that there was early and high voter turnout for the polls across the state as security personnel, electoral officers and election materials arrived at most polling units between the hours of 8:00 – 9:00 am. 24% of the polling units had the election materials before 8 AM, 48% by 8 AM and 28% by 8:30 AM. Furthermore, we observed that 64% of polling units visited had more than one electoral official, 24% had 3 electoral officials, and 12 % had two (2) electoral officials. With regards to participation of female electoral officials, we observed that a larger percentage of the polling units visited, that is about 76% had more than 2 female electoral officials, 12% had less than 2 officials, while 12% were above 2 officials.
For instance, at polling unit 007, Ward 3, Boluwaduro LGA, polling unit 012, ward 2, Ife North LGA, accreditation commenced between 8.20- 8.30 am, Similarly at polling unit 7, ward 6, Iwo LGA, accreditation commenced as early as 8 am, however at polling unit 23, ward 5, Oshogbo LGA, voters were accredited at 9.45 am.
2.2. Turnout of Female Voters & Persons with Disabilities:
FIDA Nigeria observed a large turnout of female voters in about 88% of the polling units observed. Our Observers reported that only 12% of the polling units visited had low voters. For instance, at Polling Unit 1, Ward 1, Ife South LGA, about 175 women were observed exercising their franchise, similarly, at polling 1, Ikeja ward 2, Ife South LGA, about 204 women were observed undergoing the accreditation process. Similarly at polling unit 003, ward 1, Olorunda LGA, we observed a large turnout of female voters. At polling 005, ward 7, Ifedayo LGA a good number of female voters were observed exercising their franchise, Similarly, at Unit 004, Ward 10, Ife Central LGA, more female voters were observed exercising their franchise. Furthermore, at Polling unit 7, ward 10, Odo-Otin LGA, more than a hundred women were observed exercising their franchise. Our observers reported that 88% of the covering polling units observed a low turnout of persons living with disabilities across polling units visited.
2.3. Priority Voting for Vulnerable & Marginalized Persons
FIDA Nigeria observes that persons with disabilities, the elderly/Aged, pregnant women and Nursing mothers were prioritized in the voting process by INEC Adhoc Officials. Our Observers reported that Persons living with disabilities were prioritized in at least 56% of the polling units. While only 32% of the polling units provided special kits for persons living with disabilities however 68% of the polling units didn’t. However, 80% of the polling units prioritized pregnant women, the elderly, and nursing mothers. For instance, at polling unit 004, ward 10, Ife Central LGA, nursing mothers, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities were prioritized thus exercising their franchise speedily. At polling unit 003, ward 1, Olorunda LGA, pregnant women and the Elderly were prioritized by Electoral Officials. Furthermore, at Polling Unit 23, Ward 5, Oshogbo LGA, pregnant women & the Elderly were prioritized accordingly. However, at polling unit 12, Ward 2, Ife North LGA, only persons with disabilities were prioritized while at Polling Unit 02, Ward 4, Oshogbo LGA, we observed that there was no preference for women, the aged, and persons with disabilities
2.4. Functionality of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System:
FIDA Nigeria has observed that across most polling units within our purview, the bimodal voter’s accreditation system was largely functional which aided accreditation and the voting process. However, we observed some few discrepancies of where the BVAS were not functional. At polling unit 7, ward 10, Odo-Otin LGA, the BVAS was observed to have developed fault and was not rectified as at 12 pm. About 64% of the covering polling units were able to resolve the BVAS issue experienced, while 28% are yet to report resolve as at the time of this reports.
2.5. Security-Related Observations
FIDA Nigeria observed that security officials/personnel in at least 52% of polling units visited were perceived to be impartial, with 28% perceived to be very impartial and 20% perceived to have partial electoral/security officials. We further observed that Security personnel were present in 84% of the covering polling units unarmed with firearms while 16% are reported armed with firearms with at least one police officer is present at all of our covering polling units. Seemingly our observers in 68% of the polling units reported the presence of more than 4 security personnel. While 12% of the polling units had three security personnel, 16% had two security personnel and 4% has 1 security personnel each. Conclusively 80% of the covering polling units were observed and reported to be very secure at the close of polls as no incidences of ballot box snatching was observed.
2.6. Vote Trading: FIDA Nigeria observed disturbing incidents of vote trading across the state especially as our observers reported that about 16% of the polling units were to have witnessed voting inducements. For instance, at polling unit 2, ward 3, Isokan LGA, Incidence of vote buying were observed by leading political parties between N3000 to N5000 respectively. At PU005, Ward 08 St Peter’s School Sekona, Ede South LGA, Our observers reported incidence of vote buying. Similarly at PU 02, ward 002, Ayedade LGA, and Polling Unit 12, Ward 12, Ife North LGA, voters were induced with the sum of N2, 000 –N5, 000.
FIDA Nigeria will continue to observe the elections and later issue her post-election statement to detail more on the overall participation of women and persons with disabilities.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Amina Agbaje (Mrs)
Country Vice President/National President