A Civil Society Organisation, the Centre for Development Democracy and Good Governance in Nigeria has observed that the Osun All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election fell short of acceptable international standard.
Making this observation during a press conference in Osogbo, on Monday, Patrick Usman, the Team Lead, who described the exercise as one full of irregularities, recommended that the national secretariat of the APC should investigate the irregularities reported during the election.
They also recommended that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be strengthened to tackle operational and logistical issues and that the National Assembly should introduce reforms that would better guide party primaries.
Usman observed that the primary election was grossly marred by electoral violence, issues of electoral irregularities, lack of sensitive materials, operational and logistic challenges, security issues, among others.
The Team Lead, who noted that there were cases of over voting and many members being defranchised in some wards, added that there were no accreditation in most wards where the election held and there were non-availability of results in most of the wards they visited.
Usman alleged that many party members also complained that government officials, who were allegedly appointed by the State Governor, were used as Returning Officers.
While commending the security agencies for the professional and civilised approach to handling situations at the wards visited, the CSO lamented the spate of violence recorded.
“Party primaries are to be free, fair and credible as it is the basis for good governance. The election is a mockery of democracy and a suppression of people’s will. The primary election cannot stand the scrutiny of parameters for a free and fair election.
“Our observers were present in 23 local governments to observe the election, which took place at collation centres of every ward across the State. The 23 local governments are Osogbo, Olorunda, Egbedore, Ede North, Ede South, Ifelodun, Boripe, Odo-Otin, Iwo, Ife Central, Ife East, Oriade, Ife North, Irewole, Isokan, Ayedaade, Ola-Oluwa, Boluwaduro, Orolu, Irepodun, Ilesa East, Ilesa West and Ejigbo.
“Violence was recorded in some voting centres in some of the wards. In Osogbo, Boripe, Ede, Ilesa East and Oriade local government areas, thugs were stationed at every ward and the electorates were chased away from the voting centres,” it concluded.