The governorship candidate, Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Cross River, Mr Eyo Ekpo, said the performance of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the Feb. 23 Presidential and National Assembly election was shambolic.
Ekpo made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Calabar.
He said that there was enough institutional experience that INEC should have built on between 1999 and 2015.
He said that the logistics arrangements were totally unacceptable and in a typical Nigerian fashion, no one had come out to take responsibility.
“INEC of 2019 has enough to build on the previous experiences but it failed.
“I would like INEC to improve in the delivery of materials subsequently, there is a Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) office in all the local government in the state but did anyone go to NIPOST to ask if they could use their logistics base to deliver the electoral materials, nobody.’’
“Also, the adherence to the rules at the elections was very poor, people were busy helping others thumb print and the training for the electoral officers was too short.
“I think INEC should have known that you cannot execute the elections in Nigeria except you spend a particular number of days preparing and by now, they should know the number of days.
“I do not think security was an issue, you have to look across the country, how many incidents did you see, how many cancellation was done on account of violence, not much, I think the police did reasonably well,’’, he said.
Ekpo however said he was not surprised with the low score his party gathered in the presidential election because the damage had already been done to Donald Duke, who was the SDP’s presidential candidate.
“For about half the allotted time for campaigns, Duke was not even a candidate, it wasn’t until about Jan. 20 or so that the Court of Appeal said he could go back by then the election was few days to go.
“So I think he really did not have the opportunity to campaign and scoring what he scored in Cross River was in itself a plus,’’ he said.
NAN reports that SDP had the third largest number of votes in Cross River with 1,395 votes, PDP had 295, 737, while APC had 117,302 votes.