The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has decried low turnout in the Anambra governorship election.
The group, which is hosting “Election Analysis Centre (CDD) at the Transcorp Hilton hotel, Abuja lauded residents and for the peaceful atmosphere so far, urging police to deploy security presence to rural areas.
According to Director Research CDD, Sa’eed Husaini, “We have not seen violence, so far and I think that it is important to first of all note that. Secondly, one of the major trends we have observed so far is some measure of low voters turnout and we have not been able to see some kind of show up of voters that we might have expected in other election, but of course this is phenomenal in Anambra and in the previous elections, there have also been low turn out of voters.
“Another thing we have observed in the election across the local government areas is the worrying performance of the devices, authentication system put in place by INEC, unfortunately a lot of report we have been getting is that there have been some hitches in the system accrediting voters.
“So we have had to introduce some various walk around in other to have voters accredited. Another trend that has come to our attention is that in a lot of polling units, there have been minimal deployment of security agents, so the deployment of security agents have been patchy. Some polling units, particularly in the capital have the presence of police but those in the provincial areas and rural areas in the state, lack that level of deployment. So that is something we will continue to monitor as the process continues.”
Husaini added: “We have observers in all of the 21 local government ares in the state, we also have our ties to local media organisations that have also been deployed across the local governments.
The observers are based at a particular polling unit that we have selected to try to get a representative picture of what is happening at the local level, but the journalists are able to roam around and they are giving us pictures, of not only a particular allocations in the state, but also what it looks like within locations.
“But of course we will continue to monitor that as the dynamic unfolds throughout the election. Because we know the context that we are confronted with is misinformation and disinformation have become rife, so we are doing a number of things and put a number of measures in place already to try to make sure the information we are getting and putting out is credible.
“One is that we trained these observers ourselves, so in the course of the past few weeks we have engaged in intensive training of observers in Anambra State and they have come up with various pledges to ensure us that the information they will be sending us will be only accurate information.
“Secondly, we are cross-checking information we are receiving, this is why it is important for us to have, not only observers, but also journalists we are interfacing with locally, whose credibility depends on the authenticity of information they give us.
“The thirdly, we also have a fact checking team who is cross checking information, not only the ones we are receiving from the field, but what we are also encountering from the media at the national level and on social media as well as foreign observers… So these combination of verifying what we are receiving from people on ground with people on ground, with people at the national level and abroad, will help to some extent in forming the report we are receiving.
“But, nonetheless, in the kind of urgency of the moment things will happen and we will make sure whatever we are putting out we need to cross-check even after it has gone out. These are some of the measures we have put in place to ensure the authenticity of information sent to us.”