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Our fears for Ekiti guber poll — CDD

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The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has expressed fears that the governorship election in Ekiti state scheduled for today is likely to be characterised by violence, monetisation of the process, and the abuse of power.

It warned that the conduct of the election could have significant consequences for the democratic trajectory of Nigeria, since the gubernatorial poll is the first to be conducted under the recently amended Electoral Act, 2022.

The CDD, however, stated that the credibility of the election would depend on how well the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, uses some of its new powers derived from the extant electoral law.

The Chairman of CDD’s Election Analysis Centre (CDD EAC), Prof. Adele Jinadu, disclosed this in his presentation during the organisation’s pre-election briefing in Abuja on Friday.

He said, “In the build up to the 2022 governorship election, pockets of election-related violence have been recorded in places like Ado Ekiti, Efon Alaiye, Oye, Ido/Osi and Oye Ekiti.

“Other observable issues, which would shape the credibility of the election include; how well INEC is able to effectively deploy technology, particularly the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), impartial security provisioning, the quality of results management, curtailing the role of money, incumbency and god-fatherism in the election.”

According to Prof. Jinadu, also critical is the need for stakeholders in the election to pro-actively track, and counter fake news and misinformation.

“Already, the pre-election period has witnessed the spread of fake news capable of undermining voter confidence and participation in the process,” he added.

In terms of some of the election risk factors, CDD noted that the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has crippled the local economy especially in university towns in Ekiti State.

“This has created a threat in terms of the availability of idle youth being recruited for activities, which could undermine the credibility of the election.

“By grounding the local economy, the strike has also created the wrong incentives as voters are more likely to see the election as an opportunity for economic survival, thereby exacerbating the risk of vote buying,” Jinadu stated.

The organisation also disclosed that based on history of past violence in elections in the state, the following Local Government Areas, constitute potential flash points in the election; Ado Ekiti, Efon Alaiye, Ido/Osi, and Oye.

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