publications > nigerian-2023-general-elections


Published on: Jun 9, 2023

Category: News


Read Publication Report



The 2023 general elections will have regional implications for West Africa, as successful elections within Nigeria can provide a positive electoral template in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region. Since 2020, the West African region has faced democratic backsliding, with the ECOWAS governments of Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso toppled by military juntas. A successful election in Nigeria could counter negative perceptions of governance within the region. Successful elections in Nigeria will also set a positive example for the continent, given they will be the first and largest African elections in 2023.

The Nigerian General Elections is very important to the entire continent of Africa as the outcome of every election held in Nigeria contribute positively and negatively to the social economic development in the continent. The lessons learnt in this election will translate to the peace of the nations in Africa.


Pan African Women Projects is an international non governmental organization of African women from the fifty four (54) nations of Africa and the Diaspora. Our head office is situated in Johannesburg, South Africa and regional offices in the five (5) regions including Nigeria as the hub for West Africa. Our primary mission amongst others is to promote good governance and sustainable democracy in Africa through our developmental projects for women, youths and persons with disabilities in Africa.


Pan African Women Projects is one of the foreign Observer missions accredited by Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2023 Nigeria General elections.

We have observed several elections in about seventeen (17) countries of Africa including Nigeria in the past. 

We have a mission team comprising mainly women from various African nations that are already deployed to various states of Nigeria including the federal capital territory for election and observations deployed to various areas for election observation assignments.

For the 2023 General Elections our organization observed both Presidential /National Assembly Elections held on the 25th of February, 2023 and the Governorship /State House of Assembly elections held on the 18th March,2023 in sixteen (16)States in Nigeria and our reports is based on the States our teams were physically present.


As African Women, we are keenly interested in ensuring a credible successful 2023 Nigeria general election more especially because of the good relevance and the place of Nigeria in the leadership of Africa and its people.

It is a common knowledge that a good leadership and strong sustainable democracy in Nigeria will ensure good leadership for Africa as a whole. Hence, our observation mission.

1-  In 2021, we carried out voters' registration drive throughout the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria with one state each in every of the geopolitical zones of Nigeria. This from our studies yielded incredible good results as we used the opportunity to assuage voters' apathy which was more of the cases among the citizens in various zones.


2-  Also, in 2022, we carried out PVC COLLECTION DRIVE in two states each of the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria with Akwa Ibom and Rivers states respectively for the South-South zone, Ebonyi and Owerri states respectively for the South-East zone, Kano and Sokoto states respectively for the North -West zone, Adamawa and Bauchi states respectively for the North East and also Oyo and Lagos states respectively for the South West.

This also was a huge success as we observed great zeal and desire of Nigerians to participate in the 2023 general elections.

All these we did in partnership with the Independent national electoral commission (INEC) of Nigeria especially the gender and inclusivity department.

At this point, we want to sincerely and greatly appreciate the leadership of the Independent national electoral commission of Nigeria (INEC). Professor Mahmud Yakubu and the entire department of the commission especially the gender and inclusivity for the unwavering supports that made our work very easy. We also appreciate the various security agencies that worked tirelessly to ensure our safety by providing all the intelligence and protection needed to carry out our onerous duties. We are most grateful to the gentleman and ladies of the press for their immeasurable contributions too.



We had recruited about three hundred and eighty (380) non partisan Nigerians as short term observers and Twenty (20) long term observers across the sixteen (16) states of Nigeria and the federal capital territory.







Generally across the country materials arrived late to many polling units during the Presidential/National Assembly Elections. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) still depends on the old method of deploying personnel and materials to polling units and this causes serious delay in the process. It would be great in future, if INEC could consider using 'drone' to deploy some key materials to centers and allow Presiding Officers/Assistant Presiding Officers to head straight to their respective centers ahead of time to commence accreditation on time.



As of 10.20am, INEC officials had yet to arrive at some polling units in Ikorodu, Lagos. Several voters expressed frustration over the delayed commencement of the voting exercise.

Also, the inability of the road transporters to meet up with their contract in conveying election materials as reported by our observers delayed the arrival of INEC officials at polling unit 019, Ita Aro Square, Aga/ljimu ward in Ikorodu, Lagos.

Also, many residents in the Lekki area of Lagos State trooped out in their numbers to cast their votes on Saturday but the late arrival of INEC officials and materials delayed the process. As of 11am, electoral officers and equipment were yet to arrive in the area.



In Imo State, it was reported that INEC officials were yet to arrive at some polling units in the state even after the voting time.

As at 3.27pm, INEC officials were yet to arrive at all five voting wards in Egbema community in the Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.



Meanwhile, a large turnout of voters was recorded across Enugu, even as the late arrival of election materials characterized the election.



 Generally across the 31 LGA, materials arrived in many polling units we visited late between 930am and 1.30pm.

At Aka Community RAC centre in Uyo we observed that after materials were distributed to the Ad hoc staff the RAC technician had another training session with all the APO 1 in the hall on the BIVAS that took another 30 to 45minutes at this RAC centre.This also delayed the Ad-hoc staff from departing to their polling units on time. As at 1125am some vehicles were still seen waiting for the security personnel.

We also observed late departure of materials from RAC centers to polling units in OKOI ITA in Ibiono Ibom LGA, RAC centre at LGA council premises in Mkpat Enin had the same issue.



Our observers also reported that materials didn't arrive many polling units early. In Alkaleri central primary school polling unit accreditation and voting started late.

Also, in Boogoro, Damban, Darazo LGA materials arrived polling units late.


Late arrival of materials characterized the election in some wards in local governments like Karu, Lafia, Awe and Akwanga. Thugs were used by politicians to stop INEC officials from moving materials to designated polling units at early hours.


J. Capacity of INEC Ad-hoc Staff:

The inability of some of the Corps members deployed as INEC Ad-Hoc Staff (Presiding Officers & Assistant Presiding Officers) at the polling units to effectively and efficiently manage the polling units and handle the BVAS is an area the Commission should look into for future elections. Observations in some centers shows that POS & APOS were struggling with the BVAS despites training.



In Khana LGA ballot papers belonging to Ikwerre LGA was brought to Khana LGA' This incidence caused much unrest in the community among the youths as they took their complain to the INEC office delaying the entire voting process.


For example, at Ward 1, Unit 15, that is, Offot Jubilee Primary School in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the PO and his team mistakenly took BVAS meant for Unit 16 to this polling unit and as such the system could not accredit the voters in the polling units and there was no election.

In Ikot Okoro Primary School in Essien Udim voters were voting without the senatorial ballot paper.

C. Vote Buying and Lobbying:

Sadly, some party members and their agents still engages in election day lobbying and vote buying by getting account details of some uninformed voters with the promise to make transfer. Inducement was done across party lines.



In Tudan Wada, Zaria party agents induced female voters with N1,000 and even food items to vote for their parties and this activities caused so much distractions in the polling units and delayed the voting processes.



Vote buying was recorded by different political parties in the areas of Kano Municipal, Gezawa, Nassarawa, Tarauni, Fagge, Kabo, Rano, Bunkure, Dambatta, Minjibir, Kura, Kiru, Gwale, Dala, Bebeji as reported by our observers deployed to the State.

The majority of the people induced were mostly women seen collecting wrappers, foodstuffs, detergents, sachet water, Awara and others items to cast their votes.


Incidences of vote buying in FCT were recorded mostly by our observers in the area councils outside Abuja Municipal Area Council. For instance in Abaji, Kwali, Bwari and Gwagwalada party agents were seen sharing food items to women on the field .Many voted and went to write their names and account numbers for transfers.

J. Technology:

The BIVAS is one of the landmark introductions by INEC into the election process in Nigeria. But it is without its own shortfalls. The speed at which BVAS processes information and the challenges of network connectivity is what INEC should seriously look at. Across many of the polling units visited and observed, out of the registered voters, the BIVAS was only able to verify one third of the voters at most centers 3 hours after it has been deployed (9am-12noon). Also at this election between 12 noon and 3pm the speed of the BIVAS was very slow which made voters to vote into the night and many casted their votes the following day.


In ward 10, unit 004 IKESAN IJAN there was a BIVAS breakdown, inability of BIVAS to capture some voters caused rancour by impatient voters, some voters wanted to disrupt the process because, BIVAS could not capture their face & finger.



In ward 4 unit 13 in Ibiono LGA in Akwa Ibom State voters were disenfranchised because of the malfunctioned BIVAS.As at 415pm only 65 out of 800 registered voters were able to vote.



Here the Presiding Officer in Ward 3, units 019 OHAUKWU LGA said he couldn't transmit result because the Commission didn't provide data for that purpose.

Again in Central School Ezzangbo IKWO LGA many voters were disenfranchised as the BIVAS couldn't recognize their PVCs and every attempt failed.



 At the trailer park polling unit in ELEME LGA the materials arrived at 12:15pm. On our arrival at the unit at 1.30pm the voters were so upset with the functionality of the BIVAS as the Presiding Officer there was frustrated with the speed of the BIVAS and complained that the BIVAS was failing which provoked the voters that had started queuing as early as 8:00am.

Also In River State, voters in some polling units especially those around Wimpey Junction, Rumuepirikom, Port Harcourt, lamented as the BVAS failed to accredit them



At Ward 9, Unit 3, Okpanam, in the Oshimili North Local Government Area, there were complaints about the poor state of the BIVAS at the commencement of the accreditation.

A voter in the ward, Donatus Alabike, said. "There are some issues with BIVAS. The BVAS only recognised alphabets from A to N and didn't recognise letters O to Z




In Imo generally, there were voters intimidations, and violence across the 27 local government area of the state. The local government area with high record of voters intimidations and violence includes Ohaji-egbema, oguta, Orlu, Oru west, Oru East, Okigwe, Njaba, Orsu, Ideato north, Ideato south Ikeduru. Mbaitoli, Onimo, Ahaizu Mbasie, Abor Mbasie. Nwagele and Nkwere.

Most ward in this LGAs, voters were chased away from casting their votes in a bid to allow them manipulate the outcome which they succeeded in most of the local government areas mentioned.



 We observed here that violence and intimidations of voters were so rampant in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial Zone of the State as compared to other Senatorial Zones that were relatively peaceful.

In Urban ward 1 comprising ten (10) units thugs invaded the units armed with guns and chased away voters.

Same scenario played out in Urban 2 unit 001,004 and 005 thugs invaded

the unit compelling INEC officials to allow only certain persons to vote In Odoro Ward 1 and 2 and Ito ward 1 and 2 same incidence happened.



In ward 6 unit 5 the presidential result sheet was torn due to fighting by voters as thugs emerged at the polling unit to disrupt the voting processes.

In ward 11 and the entire units there were no elections as sensitive materials were burnt by thugs.



In Ward 1 unit 003 Ikot Osom in Ntoedido as at about 10:15am tthugs invaded the polling unit and intimidated the Presiding Officers smashing away all the materials destroying the ballot boxes Elections never took place again after the incidence.

In Ikot Abia Ward 1,unit 3 a

certain man arrived the polling unit armed with a gun, intimidated voters, collected their voters cards especially women with over 100 pieces and ran away shooting into the air.



In Etim EKPO 1 two thugs rushed into the polling units in ward 3 unit 002 armed and carted away voting materials.



The violence recorded in this local government area was gruesome, Before the elections the entire Ward 11 was under a seige as thugs

 invaded a home of a candidate and destroyed cars and properties and many persons sustaining injuries. During the election severe violence erupted in this ward and the situation brought the electoral process to a standstill making the elections inconclusive.



The Presidential /National Assembly elections in Rivers State was characterized with widespread violence and electoral malpractices.

At about 315pm when voting had been concluded and result announced and results sheets signed by party agents In Igwuruta, Abia/ Okpo ward 4 armed thugs invaded polling units in the ward shooting and snatching away all result sheets and voting materials accompanied by armed men in a van.



It is a concern to our organisation observing that elections in Lagos State, are increasingly marred by high level violence and intimidation leading to several death which could deter future participation.

Nigeria's leading political parties have been accused of being culpable; they have failed to act and curb the excesses of their supporters and party members from engaging in violent acts.

For instance in Erinono Primary School, Johnson Bus Stop, the ballot boxes for the presidential election were smashed, while the boxes for the House of Representatives and Senate were carted away by political thugs and voters chased away.

Some political thugs, around 10 am, invaded polling units at Karounwin, Soyinka, and Jimoh Ojoku streets in Surulere where they shot sporadically into the air. As a result of the assault, those who were in the queue to vote ran away, including the Independent National Election Commission. (INEC) ad-hoc staff.

The same scenario happened in Muyiwa Opaleye and Aguda areas where the voting process was disrupted, but security officers later restored sanity for voting to continue.


It was observed by our observers in Kano State that despite the Police Force Kano State Command cancellation of all political rallies in the state

after clashes between supporters of the All Progressive Congress, APC, and the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP days before the election, the Presidential election was marred with severe violence in many polling units we visited.

In Dambatta L.G.A results from 13 polling units were cancelled due to

violence and ballot snatching and attack on Adhoc staff.

Also, ballot boxes were snatched at poling unit 034 at Yankaba ward in Nasarawa local government immediately votes were counted by hoodlums.



There were huge turnout and excitement at this election as so many voters were seen at 6.54am waiting anxiously at the polling unit for election to commence.



It was observed that security personnel were not deployed to some polling units in the Presidential /National Assemvly elections and that gave room for the miscreants to perpetrate violence. It was also observed that in most of the polling units where there was severe violence, there was no security personnel on duty at the time the disruption happened.



The commission severally had told Nigerians that results of the 2023 general elections will be transmitted electronically.

It clarified that it has not jettisoned electronic transmission of results for manual process.

National Commissioner (Information and Voter Education Committee), Festus Okoye, who made the clarification in a statement, said the procedure for results transmission in 2023 polls will remain the same as obtained in the recent governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states. Surprisingly, we observed in all the Local Government visited that there were no transmission of votes recorded at the just concluded election



Pan African Women Projects

Pan African

Women Projects

PAWP...One People, One Vision, One Goal

Our Statistics


Countries of Africa


Year Established

© Copyright 2008 - 2024 Pan African Women Projects. All rights reserved.

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy