Yiaga Africa has reported that key contenders and political actors have advanced narratives that portend a breakdown of law and order during the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State, southwest Nigeria.
The governorship election will take place on 10 October, 2020, according to Nigeria’s electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of All Progressives Congress (APC) and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede, are the front runners in the race for the most powerful office in the Sunshine State.
In its first pre-Ondo State 2020 election observation report, the civil society organisation also noted allegation of threats to deploy state and non-state instruments of force in the state.
Development Diaries understands that the Yiaga Africa Watching The Vote commenced the pre-election observation in August 2020 with the deployment of Long-Term Observers (LTOs) in all 18 local government areas of the state.
‘Given the background of pre-election violence and gangster politics, the state may witness a further decline in voter turnout during election’, the organisation noted.
‘This is exacerbated by the failure of security agencies to curb acts of lawlessness and impunity perpetrated by armed political thugs and political actors.
‘Low voter turnout may further enhance chances for electoral manipulation in the strongholds of the major political parties particularly in the rural areas where election rigging usually takes place’.
Yiaga Africa, in its recommendations, urged the federal and state government to desist from partisan use of the police and other security outfits to manipulate the electoral process.
The organisation also urged citizens to work with security agencies by reporting incidents or threats of violence, or perpetrators of violence.
The CSO urged security agencies to ’employ preventive measures to neutralise existing security threats in Ondo State to enable the voters to exercise their constitutional right to vote in a peaceful and secure environment’.
Source: Yiaga Africa
Photo source: Yiaga Africa