Summary of Feb 6, 2010 Anambra Gubernatorial Election as witnessed by NigeriaElectioniReporters/Anambra State

NigeriaElectioniReporters/AnambraElectioniReporters was formed by a handful of concerned Nigerians with the primary aim of monitoring, and reporting real-time on Nigeria elections using ICT/social networking media. On Feb 6, 2010 armed with a few dollars, and empowered by today’s electronic platforms, we spoke with scores of people – at least 3 election monitors in each of Anambra’s 21 LGAs to obtain LGA-wide view, several ordinary-day people in each of the LGAs to obtain unique town-wide views, and over a dozen other monitors/roving correspondents to obtain state-wide views.

Below is a summary of our findings, lessons, and recommendation. 

We thank all those that contributed in one way or another – through financial donations, volunteering of their time, and collaboration – in making this project a reality. We especially commend, and, the Nigeria Bar Association, Awka chapter, and our team of iReporters. We also thank many individuals who answered our calls and volunteered as eyewitness observers. We look forward to working with all of you, and many more people, in future elections as part of the effort to reclaim Nigeria and restore her promise. 

The Election 

1. Summary: The election was not free and fair. However, the result as announced by INEC tallies with our eyewitness reports/exit polls that placed APGA and AC in the first and second positions respectively. 

2. Disenfranchised Voters: The majority of voters were disenfranchised because of the shoddy handling of the voting process by INEC. We estimate that anywhere between 60%-80% of voters were disenfranchised as reflected in the final tally of votes – about 20% of registered voters. 

3. INEC Failed to maintain the integrity of Voters Register: The biggest failure in the process on Feb 6 arose from INEC’s inability to compile and maintain a credible voters register. The commission’s failure to promptly communicate the directive of the INEC chairman’s “Plan B” to all polling staff also tested the process and compounded the frustration of voters. 

4. The People/Voters Endured: Anambra voters endured long and frustrating hours at the polls. To their credit, most of them conducted themselves with decorum and honor. 

5. Shortcomings at Polling Stations: Most polling booths did not receive election materials on time, and some never did. 

6. Role of Technology: Global attention and ICT made it more difficult for the poll results to be fudged. 

7. Civil Society: The civil society, domestic and international, played a laudable role. This should be sustained, and more importantly better coordinated in future elections. 

8. Police and other Security Agencies: While law enforcement officers were not able to contain scattered incidents of ballot box snatching, police officers and other security agents deserve commendation for not collaborating with riggers. 

The Political Parties 

1. Thuggery: There were isolated incidents of thuggery and violence. We believe that disorderly conduct and violence plague Nigerian politics because the repercussion for them is not sufficiently severe to discourage party chieftains who empower thugs. 

Lessons and Recommendations 

Voters Register: INEC should take another look at its voters’ registration, and voters register display process. Online options are recommended to cater for a significant percentage of the population that has become internet savvy, and also live far from their designated polling stations. 

2. Zero-tolerance for rigging and violence: The electoral reform should consider disqualifying any candidate whose agent(s) are caught cheating, or engaging in violence. This will go a long way in stamping out the pockets of cheating and violence that occur when local party chieftains, acting alone, employ violent means to “deliver” their spheres of influence in order to guarantee a spot at the feeding trough. 

3. Electoral Reform: We suggest that future elections be staggered to aid INEC in handling the huge logistical challenges of conducting elections with limited resources. 

4. More Sophisticated Voters: Anambra voters, and by extension, Nigerian voters are becoming more sophisticated – less prone to be emotional and more determined to guard their votes. 

5. Role of the Church: Churches, and by extension all religious groups will be better served if they steer away from partisan politics, and political parties that court them may find themselves burnt in the future. 


Okwy Okeke (on Behalf of NigeriaElectioniReporters/AnambraElectioniReporters)