FCT AREA COUNCIL ELECTION
The Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) formerly known as the Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG) was founded in 2005 but registered as a Non-Profit, Non- Governmental and Non-Religious organization under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria in 2012.
CTA equally operates as a critical watch dog in the electoral value chain and is involved in election observation in Nigeria and has a network on Good Governance, Contract Transparency Network, the Media, and other Civil Society Organizations
The Federal Capital Territory Area Council Election held February 12th. This is the only local government election overseen by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with the rest being overseen by their respective States Electoral Commissions. The FCT elections was conducted in all accredited polling units throughout the six Area Councils to fill empty seats in 68 constituencies, including six chairmanships and 62 councillorships. INEC declared that 14 political parties fielded candidates for the slots. In the FCT’s 68 constituencies, 55 candidates contested for Chairman, while 363 candidates contested for the position of Councillors. The number of registered voters in the FCT are 1,373,492, while the number of polling units are 2,822, including the newly created 2,260. However, INEC stated that no materials or officials were deployed to 593 of the newly established polling units because no voters have yet been registered in those areas.
CTA VISIT TO RESIDENT ELECTORAL COMMMISSIONER
Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) paid a visit to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) and his team, aimed at;
- To ensure the preparedness of the commission for the forthcoming Area Council elections in FCT
- To inform the commission of CTA accreditation to deploy observers for the forthcoming Area Council elections.
The CTA commended the Election Management Body in its preparedness and readiness put in towards the conduct of the election. The distribution of sensitive and non-sensitive materials by INEC was smooth as we observed at the FCT INEC office. CTA reminded INEC that the FCT election should be taken seriously just like any other election because its failure or success would count towards the credibility of the EMB. The deployment of 3 National Commissioners and 6 Resident Electoral Commissioners with other 12000 staff by INEC and the support of all stakeholders in the electoral value chain would help for the smooth delivery of the election. The Executive Director of CTA, Faith Nwadishi advised that the successes recorded in the last Anambra State Governorship election should be taken a notch further while challenges noted should be addressed using the FCT Area Council Election.
She commended the role the commission has being playing especially in sharing information generally and letting people know of the over 500 polling units without voters attached to them because they are new and said that this is the first time, we are seeing this level of transparency in the umpire.
She shared her experience in the recent Anambra elections they attended and said some pulling units didn’t have voters and they had evidence to show for it.
She appreciated the commission for interpreting the electoral ACT as they carry out the continuous voters’ registration and education as prescribed in the ACT over a year plus and expressed her joy in the improvement that has happened in the entire electoral process especially in the introduction of the BVAS (Biometric Voters Accreditation System).
CTA ED. and the REC. Yahaya Bello
Group photograph of the CTA team with the REC and principal officers from INEC
The ED receiving some information bulletins from the FCT REC- Yahya Belo
Stakeholders round table on preparation towards the February 12, 2022 FCT Area Council Elections
CTA engaged various stakeholders and citizens to gauge the pulse and preparations of the citizens and the Election Management Body towards the election. CTA on February 2, 2022, visited the Resident Electoral Commissioner, FCT Alhaji Yahaya Bello and secured commitment from INEC on its readiness for the election.
CTA attended the stakeholder’s meeting organized by INEC and the Observer’s briefing by INEC. In the same manner, CTA hosted a Stakeholder’s RoundTable on the election on February 8, 2022, and had conversations with critical stakeholders towards a peaceful, free, fair, and credible election in the FCT. In attendance were the military, paramilitary, CSOs, media, the police, religious and traditional rulers.
The meeting had in full attendance the presence of different security agencies ranging from The Nigeria Security & Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Nigerian Navy (N-Navy), The Nigerian Police Force (NPF), The Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC), Media bodies, CSO etc. There were 42 persons in attendance: 9 Females and 33 Males.
Representatives of the Military, other security agencies, women’s groups, traditional council and CSOs
Venerable J.O Unuayan, Chaplain of the National Assembly presenting a goodwill message
Representative of Nigeria Immigration presenting a speech
cross section of critical stakeholders
PRE-ELECTION Mobilization and Training of Election Observers
The Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) mobilized 150 field observers for the election. The objective of the training includes the building of the capacity of the observers to among other things to help build the confidence in the electoral process and other important functions in the electoral process.
Essentially, the observers were trained on the 10/2/2022 to acquaint them with the code of conduct and guidelines for election observation. The training session dealt with the code of conduct for INEC, Observers, and other stakeholders in the election process. The two trainings part contains the knowledge about the FCT, overview of the election process, Role of election observers, why elections are important? The basics of election the local authorities in FCT.
The observers were deployed to various polling units across the 6 Area Councils in the FCT
cross section of observers during training
Group photograph of observers
ED CTA and the observers
ELECTION DAY ACTIVITIES
Reports of early arrivals and commencement of polls were above average. It was reported that 58.1 per cent of personnel and materials arrived polling units between 7-8 am, 23.8 percent arrived between 8-9 am while on the extreme was 16.2 percent for late arrivals across the FCT. We noted that security personnel attached to RACs, and polling units arrived early at their beats.
However, in some areas like the super RAC at Government Secondary school, Garki, in AMAC, due to operational reasons, personnel and materials were not moved to various polling units as at 10 am. The reason for the delay was attributed to non-availability of enough vehicles to distribute materials and personnel to the various units hence the resort to few vehicles that had to do several rounds to drop off personnel and materials.
CTA team led by the ED on election day
Citizens waiting to cast their votes
Security personnel during the election
Election officials on duty
voters casting thier votes