This is an interim statement released by Nigerian Civil Society Election Situation Room on the ongoing gubernatorial election in Ondo state. The gubernatorial election has progressed peacefully, and the people of Ondo State have so far conducted themselves in an orderly manner. Reports we are receiving from our network of observers throughout Ondo State indicate that election officials and security agents were deployed in sufficient numbers in most polling units, and that these officials have conducted themselves in a professional and commendable manner.
Distribution of materials and commencement of accreditation have been reportedly timely in most areas, although some centres experienced delays in commencement of accreditation and voting. There were no reports of large-scale disenfranchisement of voters following the omission of their names in the voters register.
The Nigerian Civil Society Election Situation Room received reports that some polling units were overcrowded with as much as over one thousand voters, making it difficult for the election officials posted to the units to control the voters and efficiently manage the election. We were also informed by observers that late redeployment of Electoral Officers constituted a major challenge due to the inability of some of the redeployed officers to locate and arrive at their new postings on time. The late arrival of these officials delayed the commencement of accreditation in some areas. In some polling units, ballot papers were reportedly supplied in more or less quantity than the number of registered voters. We fear that this could pose challenges during the voting and collation processes.
As the election progresses, we expect that INEC will carry out the process in a transparent and forthright manner, and that the voters, election officials, party agents and security agents will continue to conduct themselves in peaceful manner. The Nigerian Civil Society Election Situation Room will issue a final statement on the Ondo gubernatorial election subsequently.