Sequel to the preliminary statement above, updated feedbacks from our observers on the field have brought varied changes in the figures and updates presented above. This addendum to the preliminary statement outlines the most recent updates of our findings from 525 TAFAfrica field observers at the close of polling.
General Atmosphere of the Elections
While most polling units where our observers were deployed reported minor cases of violence, several reports of violence were recorded. At Sokoto North LGA, Sarkin Muslimi B ward, Danhili Hubbare PU for instance, a violent outbreak caused INEC officials to seek shelter. Calm was eventually restored with the intervention of security agents. Chaos broke out in several other locations, especially in Delta and in numerous polling units, elections were suspended or cancelled.
Timeliness and Deployment
Data from the areas covered by our observers recorded late arrivals at 220 polling units out of 525 Polling Units where our observers were stationed, that is 41.9% late arrivals which also amount to late commencement of voting. Examples of polling units where late arrival of INEC officials were recorded include: UNG. HAUSAWA BY VIEWING CENTRE PU, Karu Ward, MUNICIPAL, FCT; PRIMARY SCH ANG. SOJA, Karu Ward, Karu LGA, Nasarawa State; ITAKPA IHO MARKET SQUARE I, Okpokwu Ward, Obi LGA, Benue; and several others in the South East zone.
BVAS And Assistive Devices
Data from TAFAfrica 525 field observers showed that in all 525 Polling Units, BVAS were available in most except in a few polling units including: LG Primary School Ipakodo, Ipakodo Ward, Okorodu LGA in Lagos State, Town Hall in Odurubu/Bolooadurubu Ward in Patani LGA in Delta State and Shopping Complex in Barnawa Ward, Kaduna South LGA in Kaduna. However, BVAS malfunctioning was experienced in 172 PUs out of 525 PUs. On the availability of assistive devices, Braille Ballot Guide were available at 125 PUs out of 525 PUs (28%), Magnifying Glasses at 109 Pus out of 525 PUs (21%) and Large Font Posters at 299 out of 525 PUs (57%).
It is worthy of mention that INEC was expected to provide 21,165 magnifying glasses at 16,071 polling units for persons with albinism and minor visual impairment, 6,167 posters at 5,085 PUs for those with hearing impairment nationwide and 8,117 braille ballot guides at 5,957 PUs for the visually impaired.
In the FCT for instance, KUBWA VILLAGE/KOFAR SARKI (37-02-09-001) and DEIDEI PRY. SCHOOL FRONT OF PRY TWO BLOCK (37-02-09-059) both in Kubwa Ward, Bwari LGA are expected to have at least 6 and 13 registered visually impaired persons respectively. As such at least 1 braille ballot guide should be provided at these polling units. On the contrary, only large font posters were the only assistive devices made available.
Similarly, persons with albinism are registered at GAMES VILLAGE (37-06-02-139) Garki Ward, LUGBE F.H.A. GATE (37-06-03-014) Kabusa Ward and SABURI II HEALTH CENTER (37-06-12-06) Gwagwa Ward) all in the Municipal. Magnifying glasses are expected at these PUs but magnifying glasses were only provided at LUGBE F.H.A. GATE (37-06-03-014).
Accessibility to Polling Units and Priority Voting
Data from 525 field observers showed that 486 out of 525 PUs (93%) were accessible, and priority voting was given to PWDs at 407 PUs out of 525 (93%).
Data from the election observation platform reported the presence of at least one PWD party agent. Specifically, 261 PUs out of 525 PUs had the presence of 1 to 5 PWD Party agents. That is 49.7% inclusion of PWDs as party agents.
TAFAfrica PWD Election Hub observers will continue to keep a close watch on the election up till the point of closing at all polling units, vote counting, collation and declaration of results.
Amb. Jake Epelle, Chair, TAF-AFRICA PWD Election Hub