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All eyes on INEC, security agencies, judiciary as Governorship, State Assembly polls hold in Nigeria

Nigerians have gone to the polls today, March 18, 2023, to vote for new Governors and State Houses of Assembly members, but there are still major question marks concerning the conduct of some Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, security agencies and political parties and their leaders.

There have been reported incidents of kidnap of electoral officials, violent disruption of elections with thugs scattering electoral materials or threatening of individuals not willing to vote for their candidates to stay away from polling units, of actual brutalisation of voters in some parts of the country and of vote buying.

On the heels of the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25, 2023, that was rated below average standard by international and domestic observers, the Governorship and State Assembly may not be rated much better unless the INEC and security agencies take more proactive measures to redeem their reputations, especially with real time uploading of results on to the INEC server as provided by the law governing the polls and cracking down on political thugs and their sponsors.

Ultimately, however, the eyes of the world, as at present, would be fixated on the judiciary for due remedies for the aggrieved, as it is becoming the norm for players to rape the system with impunity and brazenly ask the victims to go to court where they believe they will effortlessly buy justice themselves and their cronies.

 

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