An organization, Yiaga Africa, has urged the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Zenith Labor Party (ZLP) to accept the outcome of the October 10 governmental elections in Ondo state.
Mr. Eyitayo Jegede fought under the umbrella of the PDP, while Agboola Ajayi fought on the platform of the ZLP.
Both men were defeated by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who scored 292,830 votes against Jegede’s 195,751 votes and Ajayi’s 60,051 votes.
Speaking at a post-election press conference in Akure on Sunday, Mr. Nwagwu, the co-chair of Yiaga Africa, also urged Akeredolu Government to be generous in the victory.
Nwagwu said that given the significant number of procedural violations surrounding the counting of “tainted and counterfeit” ballots, the agency would recommend better training for ad hoc Election Day officials.
However, he said the violations never undermined the integrity of the process, but were signs that election day officials deserve more training to improve their performance.
“Yiaga Africa commends INEC for its efforts to improve the electoral process and to comply with the COVID-19 protocol regarding the provision of disinfectant / hand sanitizers in all polling stations.
However, Yiaga Africa believes there are opportunities for improvement in elections and called on INEC to conduct a post-election audit of both the Edo and Ondo governor elections.
“This is important to enable the Commission to assess its performance, identify faulty operational areas for improvement and drive policy reforms to effectively plan for future elections.
In addition, the National Assembly must accelerate reforms to the Electoral Act to legalize the effective use of technological instruments to promote citizen participation and increase transparency in the electoral process.
“The INEC Result Viewing portal deployed before the election has demonstrated how citizens’ access to polling station results enhances the integrity of the electoral process and encourages the acceptability of election results.
“Yiaga Africa commends the National Peace Committee (NPC) for responding to stakeholder appeal about the threat of violence, as indicated in Yiaga Africa’s pre-election observation report.”
He said: “The interventions contributed in no small part to the peaceful conduct of the election.
“Yiaga Africa would like to thank many Nigerians in the state who have volunteered to serve on behalf of all the people of Ondo as impartial observers of the Watch The Vote (WTV),” he said.
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