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Nigeria: Election Monitoring Report
Nigeria: Election Monitoring Report
Date distributed (ymd): 981230
Document reposted by APIC
Region: West Africa
Issue Areas: +political/rights+
This posting contains a report from the Transition Monitoring Group of
45 Nigerian non-governmental organizations (listed at the end of the report),
on the local government elections held on December 5, 1998.
For a convenient timetable of the election process and a summary of results,
see the Nigerian Drum Messenger web site (http://members.xoom.com/OAT_TRIAD/).
For additional news updates see Africa News (http://www.africanews.org/west/nigeria).
Of the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG)
On the Local Government Elections
Held on Saturday, December 5, 1998
For more information:
Centre for Law Enforcement Education (CLEEN) 44 Alhaja Kofoworola Crescent
Off Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja P.O. Box 212, Yaba
Tel: 234-1-4930831 fax: 234-1-4930831
CLEEN is a non governmental organisation that works for the re-orientation
of law enforcement agencies in Nigeria, especially the police and prisons
services, with a value system that places highest premium on right to life,
security of persons, physical and psychological integrity; as well as educate
civil society in Nigeria on its basic rights in relation to these agencies.
Our mandate is pursued through research and publication, human rights education
and community empowerment programmes.
This is a preliminary report issued by the Transition Monitoring Group
(TMG), a coalition of 44 human rights organizations that monitored the
local council elections held in Nigeria on Saturday, December 5, 1998.
The TMG's report is based on our observations of the polling in various
constituencies across the country. The observation covered all six zones
of the country: South East, South South, South West, North East, North
Central, and North West.
TMG was formally accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) to monitor the elections nationwide.
TMG deployed over 1,000 observers to monitor the elections nationwide.
These were made up of 326 observers from within member organizations of
the TMG accredited by INEC and other observers recruited by the TMG.
A final report will be issued before the next elections scheduled for
January 9, 1999.
a. State of Preparedness of INEC
There were complaints of serious administrative lapses by INEC in its
preparations for the elections. Some of these lapses include:
Lack of Electoral Materials
In some polling stations, there were reports of lack of electoral materials,
ballot papers, boxes, forms, etc. This affected voting.
b. Insufficient Training of Electoral Officials
Numerous electoral officials did not seem to have sufficient skills
or knowledge to enable them tackle problems or complaints arising from
the voting process. In some cases, party agents and independent observers
were being relied on to resolve confusing situations and voters protests
Mix up in Voters Registers
In some constituencies, the voters register was muddled up. Registers
meant for particular wards or constituencies were taken to different areas
thus disenfranchising voters who had turned up to vote. In other instances,
peoples names were simply missing from the voters register.
c. Lateness of Officials
There were several reports of officials reporting late for electoral
duties, meaning that in several cases, voting did not begin early. In some
cases where accreditation began late, voters were turned back once it was
11 am and in spite of the fact that INEC officials had not completed accrediting
every person that was on queue. The problem of transportation and the biting
fuel crisis accounted to some extent for the lateness of officials.
d. Lack of Privacy in the Voting
There was the problem of lack of privacy and confidentiality in the
voting process, so that voters balloting was apparent to onlookers, and
not sufficient security was provided for ballot boxes.
e. Lack of Civic Education
There was widespread lack of awareness among voters on how to vote,
thumb print or even identify the parties and the candidates of their choice.
In some cases, voters did not understand that they should thumb print the
ballot papers before inserting them into the boxes. In other cases, ballot
boxes were invalidated because voters thumb printed in between the boxes
of the parties.
In a few other cases, voters did not understand the difference between
accreditation and actual voting. Some left after accreditation believing
that they had actually voted.
2. Other Logistical Problems
Transportation was one major problem that affected the conduct of the
elections. Due to lack of transportation, electoral officers in some instances
did not arrive at the polling centers in time. For the same reason, in
other instances, voting materials did not get to polling centers in time.
As a result, there were delays in the commencement of voting. This problem
also compelled electoral officers to walk distances to pick up materials
and return to their polling centers.
3. Security Situation/Electoral Violence
The elections were reasonably peaceful, except for isolated cases of
electoral violence leading to intimidation of voters by party faithful,
and, in some cases, death. Law enforcement agents deployed to voting centers
were reportedly civil. It was observed that the number of law enforcement
agents deployed for the exercise was inadequate.
However, many of the law enforcement agents deployed for the exercise
were ignorant of INEC guidelines on their role in the voting exercise,
especially the requirement that they should stay behind the last prospective
voter on the queue.
In Awka, the Anambra State capital, one person was confirmed dead in
a shootout involving a convoy of an APP candidate patrolling polling areas
in the city.
In Asari Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State (Buguma City), youths
dressed in black used acid to destroy polling materials and took them away
thereby ensuring that no elections were held in the area.
In Ward 9 of the same local government, party agents brought thugs who
were shooting in the air and scaring people away. Some people also sustained
In Akwa Ibom State, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Oron Division
was killed by rioters protesting the conduct of the council elections in
4. Conduct of the Political Parties
The party agents who were at the polling centers generally conducted
themselves well. There were however reported cases of improper and, sometimes,
violent behavior. From Ibadan North Local Government Ward 5 in Oyo State,
it was reported that a fake voter's card was found on a party agent at
a polling Centre. From Sokoto State cases of rival party supporters going
to polling centers with local weapons were also reported. There was also
reports of rival parties clashing in Awka, Anambra State.
5. Electoral Malpractices
Some electoral malpractices were reported. From Bayelsa State, for instance,
the uses of some of the missing voters' cards by strange persons were seen.
This resulted in multiple voting particularly in Sagbama Local Government
Area of Bayelsa State. Also, observers in Bayelsa State were satisfied
that some of the voters who turned up were clearly underage.
Yet another irregularity was the failure of electoral officers to ensure
that voters had enough space to cast their vote in secret. There were,
in several cases, no space as a result of which voters thumb printed the
ballot papers within sight of the other voters and electoral officers.
Despite lapses in the preparations by INEC and a few electoral malpractice
recorded in some centres across the country, the elections were credible.
Voter turnout was reasonably impressive compared to the turnout in elections
in the recent past. The elections were largely peaceful and free of rancour
in many voting centers across the country. However, some isolated cases
of violence were reported in states like Oyo, Anambra, Lagos, Ondo and
- There is need for better training of electoral officials to achieve
consistency of the implementation of the electoral guidelines and to assist
them to be confident in reaching and sustaining their decisions.
- The level of checks and balances and supervision of electoral officials
was inadequate, leading to some wrong decisions by officials not being
dealt with. There is need to address problem.
- There is need to ensure that the secrecy of vote is guaranteed. The
practice where voters sometimes do not have adequate privacy to cast their
votes and where the votes cast and the markings on the ballot papers are
apparent should be tackled.
- There is need for increased security of ballot papers, boxes and forms
to ensure that they are not tampered with or removed.
- A copy of the Voters' Register should be pasted at particular polling
stations prior to elections to enable voters identify where they will vote.
- There is need for adequate arrangement to be made for the transportation
of electoral officers and materials on election days.
- INEC should take urgent and far-reaching efforts to educate the public
on the voting procedure. In this regard, it is not enough to use the mass
media. Grassroots bodies like market women's associations, community-based
organizations, churches and mosques, should be used to reach and educate
our unenlightened majority. Support should also be given to the efforts
of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to provide civic education to
Clement Nwankwo Chair, TMG Coordinating Committee
(This report is issued by Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), a coalition
of forty five human rights organizations working to monitor the transition
to civil rule programme of the military government of General Abdulsalam
COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF MEMBERS OF THE TRANSITION MONITORING GROUP
1. Constitutional Rights Project (CRP)
5, Abiona Close, Off Falolu Road Surulere, Lagos
(with offices in Owerri, Imo state)
Tel: 01-5848498, 5843041, Fax: 01-5848571
Contact: Clement Nwankwo (Executive Director)
2. C ivil Liberties Organisation CLO
1a Hussey Street, Jibowu - Yaba Lagos
(with offices in Benin and Enugu Jos, Kaduna, Maiduguri and Ibadan)
Tel: 01-860456, 862412; Fax: 01-5840288
Contact: Abdul Oroh(Executive Director)
3. Centre for Law Enforcement Education
44 Alhaja Kopfoworola Crescent Off Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja
Tel: 01-4930831, Fax: 01-4930831 E-mail: Cleen@alpha.linkserve.com
Contact: Innocent Chukwuma(Executive Ditrector)
4. Media Rights Agenda
44 Alhaja Kofoworola Crescent Off Obafemi Awolowo Way Ikeja, Lagos,
Tel: 01-4930831, Fax: 01-4930831 E-mail: email@example.com
Contact: Edetaen Ojo (Executive Director)
5. Community Action For Popular Participation NUJ Secretariat
Area 11, Garki, Abuja
Tel:09-2346780, 2346214, Fax:09-2346780
Contact: Emma Ezeazu(Executive Director)
6. Centre for Human Rights Research and Development
37 Old Ife Road, Akunleyan Office Complex Opposite
Green Springs Hotel, P.O. Box 1084 Agodi, Ibadan
Tel: 02-712336, Fax: 02-2318588
Contact Moshood Erubami(Executive Director)
7. African Centre for Democratic Governance
5, Dogon Dutse Road, Jos
Tel: 073- 619512, Fax: 073- 458947
Contact: Prof. Aaron T. Gana
8. The Institute For Social Sciences and Administration Ibadan
Contact: Professor Ayoade
9. Network For Justice
B7 55 Sardauna Crescent P.O.Box 9436, Kaduna
Tel:062: 240144, 24160
Dr. Usman Bagaje(Chairman)
10. Social Advocacy Group
8, Bagado Road Runjin Sambo, Sokoto
Contact: Dr Bala Yauri Mohammad
11. African Peace Initiative
2 Olufunmilola Okikiolu Street Behind 7B Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos
Tel: 01- 4937963
Contact: Emmanuel Opia(Executive Director)
12. Safe Environment Action
C3 Ibrahim Taiwo Road P.O.Box 1624, Kaduna
Tel: 062- 242290, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Priscilla M. Achakpa(Executive Director)
13. Women for Democracy and Leadership
25 Moremi Street New Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State
Tel: 02-8102555, 2411025,2412199
Contact: Ayoka Lowano(Executive Director)
14. Justice, Development and Peace Commission
Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode
Bishop Emeritus Compound Off Erunwa Road, GRA.
Tel: 037-432268, 420703; D/L: 432246, Fax: 037: 432139
Contact: Rev. Fr. John Patrick Ngoyi
15. Human Rights Legal Services(HURILAWS)
34 Creek Road, Apapa Lagos
Tel:5878706;587876, Fax: 01- 5876876
E-Mail: Olisa@rct.nig.com. Contact:
16. Human Rights Monitor 1A Junction Road P.O.Box 1584, Kaduna
Tel: 062-239347, Fax: 062 235048 E-Mail: email@example.com
Contact: Festus Okoye(Executive Director)
17. Women's Consortium of Nigeria
No. 2 Arimokunri Street Ijemo, Abeokuta
Tel: 039- 242113
Contact: Bisi Olateru- Olagbeji (Executive Director)
18. Society for the Welfare of Women Prisoners
43b Kenyatta Street, Uwani P.O.Box 15653 UNEC Post Office, Enugu
Tel: 042-256887, Fax: 042-451680
Contact: Sylvia A. Akpala(Executive Director)
19. Civil Rights Concerns
30 Edinburgh Road Ogui New Layout Enugu,
Tel: 042- 254102, 254809
Contact: Theresa O. Ileghune(Executive Director)
20. Basic Rights Group
53, Western Avenue P.O.Box 1140, Surulere Lagos,
Tel: 01- 830345
Contact: Ummuna Chiemeka(Executive Dorector)
21. Global Vision 8, Adeniyi Street Onipanu, Lagos
Tel: 01- 4973012, Fax: 01-493145
Contact: Giwa Ehimen Jacobs(Executive Director)
Contact: Bisi-Yomi Layinka
23. Centre for Responsive Politics
12 Potts Johnson Street P.O. Box 9208 Port-Harcourt, Rivers State
Contact: Nimi Walson-Jack(Executive Director)
24.Centre for Media Studies
30, Adebisi Street Adekunle Yaba, Lagos
Tel: 01-866086, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Bolaji Alabi
25. Medical Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims
20, Mbonu Ojike Street Off Ayinde Giwa Street Surulere, Lagos
Tel: 01- 840839, Fax:01-2635048
Contact: Edith Oguamanam(Project Officer)
26. People Against Drug Dependency Ignorance (PADDI)
Plot B, Small Scale Industrial Estate, Fatai Atere Road,
Contact: Eze Eluchi(Cordinator)
27. Gender and Development Action
14, Adebola Street, Off Adeniran Ogunsanya Street
Tel/Fax: 01- 5840371, E-Mail: email@example.com.
Contact: Nkoyo Toyo(Executive Director)
28. United Action for Democracy c/o Civil Liberties Organisation
1A Hussey Street Jibowu, Yaba, Lagos
Contact: Olisa Agbakoba(President)
29. Women Justice Programme
37C Foresythe Street Lafiaji, Lagos
Tel: 01-2632999 Fax: 01-2632811
Contact: Grace Enwerem(Project Cordinator)
30. Shelter Rights Initiative
62 Tafawa Balewa Crescent Off Adeniran Ogunsanya Street,
Tel/Fax: 835367, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Eze Onyekpere(Executive Director)
31. Centre for Free Speech
30, Bassie Ogamba Street Surulere, Lagos
Tel: 01-5844982, E-Mail: email@example.com
Contact: Tunde Olugbuji
32. Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
52, Mbonu Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 5
Port-Harcourt, Rivers State
Contact: Anyakwe Nsirimovu(Executive Director)
33. AFRONET, Lagos
34. Amnesty International-Nigeria
27, Ogunlana Drive, Surulere
Contact: Eke U. Ubiji(Executive Secretary)
35. Legal Research and Resource Development Centre
386, Murtala Mohammed Way, Yaba
Tel/Fax: 01-865188; 862097; 610450
Contact: Olubankole Olubamise
36. Zee Karatu Workshop
13, Emir Road Angwan Rimi, GRA, Kaduna
Contact: Fatima Mamie Shehu(Coordinator)
37. Legal Defence Centre
9, Milverton Avenue Aba,
Contact: Chijioke Ononimu(Deputy Coordinator)
38. The Moving Minds
First Floor Office Block
Agbowo Shopping Complex
Opposite University of Ibadan
P.O. Box 7790, U.I. Ibadan
Tel: 02 - 8100045, Fax: 02 - 8104777
Contact: Chief Mrs. Ronke Okusanya (Executive Director)
39. BAOBAB For Women's Human Rights
25, Musa Yar'Adua Street
P.O. Box 73630
Tel/Fax: 01 617134
Contact: Ayesha Imam
40. Legal Watch
Z1 Jos Road/Abeokuta Street
Tel: 062 242127, Fax: 235048
Contact: Debora Alabi (Coordinator)
41. Dr. M.E. Kolagbodi Memorial Foundation 48/50 Ishaga Road
Contact: A.A. Abiodun (Executive Secretary)
42. Labour Centre for Economic Democracy, Research & Documentation
48, Oguntolu Street
Onipanu Shomolu, Lagos
Contact: Kunle Oladejo (Director General)
43. Centre for Workers' Rights
9, Alhaji Abiodun Sadiku Street
Adealu Bus stop
Tel/Fax: 01 4920747
Contact: Kayode John (Project Officer)
44. Campaign for Workers' and Farmers' Democracy
This material is being reposted for wider distribution by the Africa
Policy Information Center (APIC). APIC's primary objective is to widen
the policy debate in the United States around African issues and the U.S.
role in Africa, by concentrating on providing accessible policy-relevant
information and analysis usable by a wide range of groups and individuals.