By Sani Gazas Chinade, Damaturu
We the Coalition of INEC duly accredited domestic election Observer Groups for the February 3d 2024 Bye Election in Yobe State, having carefully and successful observed the entire process of the election to its final conclusion, we wish to state very categorically our position as this;
In a press statement by the team leader Comred Victor Kalu said that, The Yobe East Senatorial District Bye election actually took place as scheduled on 3rd February 2024 in all the Seven Local Government Areas, Registration Areas, and 1992 Polling Units that made up the Senatorial District as observed by our team.
The Security Situation and Arrangements: Before the election, it was as if Yobe State and particularly Yobe East Senatorial District will collapse due to challenging rumours of insecurity threatening the conduct of the election.
But to our greatest surprise and joy, the February 3rd, 2024 Senatorial Bye Election in Yobe state has gone into history as the most peaceful and safest election in recent time in the state and also compared to some other states where the same Bye and Re-run elections took place same day.
Kudos to the very articulated and professional security networking among the very security agents, who also conducted themselves in a professional manner by seeing the election duty as a call for national duty and service.
Seeing the election as an opportunity to improve and amend herself following public complaints and Issues arising from the 2023 Nigeria General Elections and the November 11th 2023 Off cycle Governorship election in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa State respectively, there was an obvious Improvement on the part of INEC in ensuring a credible, free, fair and transparent election in Yobe state.
The conduct of INEC was totally in line with our relevant electoral laws, the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria and the guideline for the conduct of the election as announced by the commission.
The availability and timely distribution of election materials and personnel in all the Polling Units without the usual transportation hitches actually aided the smooth and timely commencement of the election in all the polling units in the state.
The seamless and quickest process of result collation, accurate tabulation and peaceful declaration of winner was yet another fit worthy of commendation.
Our team observed strict compliance to the use of the BVAS as stipulated by the Electoral Act and Guideline for the election.
Considering the challenging security situation and heightened security apprehension ahead of the election, “we are Impressed at the level of voter turnout for the election.
It goes to show their readiness to exercise their franchise of electing their representative despite the challenging security situation in their area.” The orderly and peaceful conduct of voters during the election was very impressive and highly commendable.
“Our Team observed that Five political parties participated in the election and all of them received a keenly contested vote.
The participated political parties are; ADC, APC, APGA NNPP and PDP respectively.
Therefore “We commend the good people of Yobe East Senatorial District for courageously trooping out enmass to freely and peacefully elect a candidate of their choice without any harassment, intimidation or cohesion. We also commend them for putting behind them the string of violence knowing that the state belongs to them.”
“The improvement on our electoral process as being observed in the Yobe East Senatorial District Bye Election of 3rd February 2024 in Yobe state especially on the unhindered and transparent process of the entire exercise till the winner of the election was peacefully announced is hereby been commended as we request that it be sustained in future elections.”
The various security agents are also commended for been duty bound and for considering the assignment as a call to serve the nation.
“We conclude by stating very categorically that the Yobe East Senatorial District Bye Election of 3rd February, 2024 actually took place as scheduled under a very peaceful and calm atmosphere.”
The exercise was transparent, credible, free and fair in line with democratic tenets constitutional elections. We therefore adjudge it to have met the international best practices for democratic election.
The results and out of the ele6should therefore be accepted by all as a true reflection of the majority of voters in State.
“We use this medium to urge the winner of the election to reach out to all segments of the society and show magnanimity in victory, while appealing to those who lost out in the election to show a good spirit of sportsmanship which is the beauty of democracy- there is always another chance, or better explore every democratic channel as stipulated by law to ventilate their grievances without violence accordingly.”