FILE PHOTO: A woman casting her vote

A Civil Society Organisation, Yiaga Africa, says the Ondo State governorship election was marred with vote-buying and inadequate compliance with Covid-19 protocol.

Dr Aisha Abdullahi, Co-chair, Yiaga Africa 2020 Ondo Election Observation Mission, stated this on Saturday at a press conference on situational report on the election.

Abdullahi commended INEC for the early arrival of materials to polling units which saw a large turnout of voters.

Abdulahi said it received reports of vote-buying from Akure South, Ose, Ondo West, Ilaje and Akure North with the secrecy of the ballot being compromised.

“Despite attempts by polling officials to prevent voters and party agents from showing how ballot papers were marked, these electoral offences occurred in the presence of security personnel who made no attempt in some cases to reprimand the culprits,” she said.

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She also decried that there was minimum observation of social distancing across all the polling units observed.

Abdulahi, however, noted that the commencement of polls, compliance with INEC COVID-19 protocol on the two-tier queuing system in 88% of polling units, the presence of infrared thermometer and disinfectant/sanitizers in 74% of polling units were observed.

She said, in assessing the electoral process’ responsiveness to the needs of persons with disabilities, it tracked the presence of disability-sensitive election materials with the presence of the Braille ballot guide in 59% of polling units.

Abdulahi also noted that magnifying glasses in 27% of polling units, forms EC 40H (PWD Voter information and statistics) in 93% of polling units and the PWD posters Form EC 30E in 90% of polling units.

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Yiaga Africa commended the good people of Ondo State for their peaceful conduct during the voting process and pleaded they remain patient and peaceful through the voting and counting process.