Yiaga Africa has condemned the outbreak of violence during the Edo State governorship election.
The group also berated the activities of some security personnel at intimidating and harassing voters as well as observers monitoring the electoral process.
In a situation report, the group berated the late commencement of the election as well as partial compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines.
The group also stated that observers were harassed and their observation materials confiscated by party agents in Edogun Primary School Hall I under Orhionmwon Local Government Area and Ozolua Grammar School, Polling Unit 009 of Ward 10 in Ikpoba/Okha LGA.
“Yiaga Africa observers reported sporadic shooting leading to the suspension of voting in Idumwongo Polling Unit 5, Ward 7 in Orhionmwon LGA.
“The voting process was also disrupted in Obodeko Primary School, PU 003 in Ward 8 of Igueben LGA where a political party supporter mobilised thugs to the PU to disrupt the process.
“Incidents of ballot box snatching by party supporters in Ozolua Grammar School, Polling Unit 009 of Ward 10 in Ikpoba/Okha LGA and Obodeko Amahor Pri/Sch Unit 003 of Ward 8 in Igueben LGA,” Yiaga Africa added.
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The group also said agents of two major contenders in the election – All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party – found a way around the secrecy of the ballot despite the presence of security operatives.
“Party agents interfered in the accreditation and voting process in PU 001 at Ugbo Wardin Orhionmwon LGA; Ukpato Ward, Evbuosa Pri/Sch Iguemokhua PU, Orhionmwon II.
“In Ihogbe Secondary School, Unit 006, Ward 5 of Oredo LGA, a political party agent gave a voter a PVC that does not belong to him to vote, the culprit was apprehended by the security,” it also said.
Yiaga Africa urged the electoral commission to extend the voting time to ensure all electorates were able to vote.
The group also called on INEC to ensure that polling unit result sheet; form EC8A for each location was uploaded on the INEC Result Viewing Portal and that there was strict compliance with the application of the election guidelines in the result collation process.
It also advised security agencies to maintain a high standard of professionalism and non-partisanship.
SaharaReporters, New York