Nigerians today return to the polls to elect their state governors and legislators as well councilors for the six Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Councils.

An election observer group, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), yesterday, said it hopes that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has factored into its plans and preparations, the pitfalls that beset and affected the successful conduct of the presidential elections so as to ensure that they don’t repeat themselves again during the governorship elections.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, CTA Acting Director, Faith Nwadishi, said though the INEC Chairman has given assurance of the electoral body’s preparedness for the governorship elections, it, however, expects that the INEC will deliver a more acceptable election today.

The CTA director also expressed concerns over what it described as militarisation of elections in Nigeria, saying it is unacceptable.

Nwadishi said reports from the states indicate that the military is now playing an active role in the country’s electoral process as against the provision of the electoral Act. She said legally, it is only INEC that can determine when and if there is the need for military intervention.

She said there is need for security deployment to pay attention especially to areas where there have been threats to voters of particular ethnic groups or political leaning.

She said the Presidential and National Assembly elections still suffered from significant logistical hitches, which affected the credibility and popular acceptance of the election despite initial postponement.

She said, “These included late arrival of materials and personnel; late commencement of accreditation and voting in many places; issues of non-functioning of card readers in many places during the elections, cases of missing names from the voters’ register leading to disenfranchisement of potential voters.”

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