“We have looked around, and the most important thing is that people were able to express their own opinions to vote freely as they wished to vote, and not to be intimidated or induced in any way, to vote according to their consciences for what they think is best for them, for their families and for their communities.”
These are the views of the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright, who is a member of the international observers that monitored yesterday, Saturday governorship election in Ekiti State.
In an interview with news men in Isan-Ekiti, he commended both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies for proper preparation for the election and for composing themselves very well.
“As observers, we will report back to INEC at the end of the day, giving our reports. We are neutral international observers, watching the process in trying to ensure that the exercise is free, fair, credible and indeed peaceful. We are very pleased to be able to be here.”
Arkwright described the election as a precursor to the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, saying: “This election is an important milestone on the road to 2019. In Ekiti itself, it is important for the process to be free, fair, credible and indeed peaceful.”
He emphasized that the International Bureau for the British Government is not supporting one candidate, saying: “we are not supporting one party. But we are supporting the process.”
Arkwright also emphasized that from what he saw, INEC prepared very well for the Ekiti election.
I spoke to the INEC Chairman in Abuja 10 days ago and he said the commission was well prepared. I spoke to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) yesterday, and as far as I can see, the sensitive materials were sent to the polling units in time.
Source: Sunday Sun.