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CDD says governorship election witnessed violence, open vote-buying

CDD says governorship election witnessed violence, open vote-buying

The Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD, on Saturday expressed concerns about the legitimacy of the governorship elections in all 50 states due to allegations of vote-buying, violence, and intimidation.

Although the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) performed better in the area of logistics deployment, resulting in the poll officials’ quicker arrival for the elections, the organization claimed that there were occasionally problems with the Bi-modal Voters Accreditation System’s non-functionality (BVAS).

In its initial statement regarding the gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections, the CDD brought up the issues.

Idayat Hassan, the executive director of CDD, briefed journalists in Abuja, stating that information from its 1,500 observers stationed all across the country suggests that there were more instances of vote-buying during the governorship elections than the presidential elections on February 25.

This reality, in her opinion, pervaded all six geopolitical zones.

She said, “In the northwest, observers in all seven states reported increased reports of vote trading, primarily by political party agents.

“Money was used alongside other materials such as food items, wrappers and a ‘credit voucher’ were used to buy votes and those items were to be redeemed after the results.

According to the pro-democracy think organization, the violent episodes confirmed the heated political climate in which the votes were conducted.

She said these acts of violence involved party agents and politically sponsored thugs.

Read Also: Avoid Mistakes Of Presidential Election, CDD Tells INEC

She also said, “A concern that has cut across multiple zones is the reduced presence of security officials.”

Also, according to CDD, violence was employed to obstruct the procedure.

“There were reports in Ukanafun LGA, Akwa Ibom, where thugs attacked a polling unit and scared away voters. Election materials were also hijacked at gunpoint in Emelia LGA and thugs also disrupted the process in Obio Akpor LGA, both in Rivers state.”

Regarding the role that online rumors play, CDD highlighted how, especially in Lagos, a flurry of voter intimidation videos was extensively disseminated online as voters were making their way to the polls.

Prof. Adele Jinadu, the Chairman of the CDD’s Election Analysis Centre (EAC), also spoke, noting that based on anecdotal data, the voting participation varied from state to state.

He noted that comparatively higher voter turnout was observed in states where the incumbent was facing a serious challenge from his opponent.

He added that CDD observation data showed that in the south-south, the widespread dejection caused by the unfavorable conclusion of the presidential election had an impact on turnout, with voters saying that “there is no point of coming out to vote.

“This trend is broadly consistent across the six geo-political zones. In Anambra state, 75% of polling units had INEC officials who arrived on time with voting commencing on average at 8:41.

“There was even a report of INEC officials in Benue state having slept over at the polling unit to avoid late coming,” he added.

CDD says governorship election witnessed violence, open vote-buying

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