The Committee of Youth on Mobilisation and Sensitisation (CYMS), a domestic election observer group, has described the just concluded Okigwe North Federal Constituency election in Imo as free, fair and credible.
A statement by its leader, Mr Obinna Nwaka, made available to News Diary.ng (ND) on Sunday in Owerri, said the election met the international best practices.
Nwaka said they carefully observed the three electoral processes in line with INEC guidelines, trained and deployed election observers in the three Local Government Areas (LGAs) that made up the Federal Constituency – Onuimo, Okigwe and Isiala Mbano.
He said the team from Abuja, successfully carried out its pre-election activities where electoral stakeholders like INEC and security agencies were engaged in a bid to ascertain the level of preparedness.
He said they worked in synergy to ensure INEC discharged its duties as expected by the electorate.
Nwaka said his team observed low turnout of voters in Okigwe and Onuimo but a high turnout at Isiala Mbano LGA due to the fact that the two leading political party candidates were from the area.
“The CYMS observed that the security agents were civil and worked professionally and were prompt in ensuring that they protected both the sensitive materials, INEC office at Isiala Mbano and ad hoc staff against political thugs, ballot box snatchers and desperate politicians.
“The distribution of election materials, voting and other electoral assignments started earlier than expected, which led to a successful process.
“The youths turnout was quite impressive and their conduct commendable as they supported in ensuring the election was free, fair and conclusive.
“The CYMS did not record any situation of ballot box snatching, mutilation of result, electoral malpractice by INEC or ad hoc staff, vandalisation, vote buying and inducement as the electorate were fully prepared for the election,” he said.
He said the election was between the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mr Obinna Onwubualiri and Princess Miriam Onuoha of All Progressives Congress (APC).
Nwaka said that at the end of collation of votes, Princess Onuoha of APC defeated her closet rival with a total of 23,690 votes against the 9,710 scored by Onwubualiri of PDP making Princess Onuoha the House of Representatives elect for Okigwe North Federal Constituency, as announced by INEC.
Nwaka commended INEC for conducting a peaceful election, the media for an unbiased reportage, the security agencies for securing the lives of electorates and ensuring a conducive environment.
He urged Onuoha to see the victory as the overall victory of the good people of Okigwe north.
ND reports that CYMS was one of the organisations accredited by INEC to observe the re-run election.