A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) which observed Saturday’s Bayelsa governorship election has lauded Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the smooth conduct of the poll.
Dr Isaac Iduma, the spokesman for the group disclosed this while presenting its reports to newsmen in Yenagoa on Wednesday.
Iduma said the election was generally peaceful, free, fair and credible.
He said the report was based on inputs from 10 CSOs who went round to monitor the conduct of the poll across the state.
Iduma named some of them as National Committee of Patriots, Centre for Strategic Conflict Management, Patriotic Women Foundation, Organisation of Justice for Equity Sustenance and Centre for Positive Change.
He, however, called for improvement in future elections.
“Vote counting and collation of results were observed to be substantially in order, the process leading to vote counting spread into the night in some places; interestingly, the outcome of the process was generally peaceful and transparent.
“Voters were able to find their names on the voters’ register, unlike in the past elections where some voters could not find their names on the register.
“That is why we urge INEC to continue to improve its cooperation and synergize with CSOs across the country in future elections in the area of voter education and sensitisation.
“Punitive measures should be taken against all electoral offenders within the purview of the law to sustain the dynamics of our democracy.
“We sincerely advise and appeal to all the parties involved to accept the outcome of the election or adopt legal means in resolving their differences rather than taking laws into their hands,” he said.