Center for Democracy and Development, CDD, says the gubernatorial and state assembly elections credibility is in doubt following alleged vote trading, violence and intimidation.
At a briefing on Saturday in Abuja the executive director CDD Idayat Hassan said, “In the northwest, their observers in all seven states reported increased cases 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”.
“Also in the northeast, political party agents in Taraba infiltrated the queue, pretended to be voters and used the chance to offer cash for votes, while Southeast, recorded reports of APGA and LP party agents using materials, and other souvenirs to entice voters in Anambra state”.
In the south-south, multiple states reported a desire for voters to show proof of their vote before being paid, with party agents reportedly compiling a list of their voters in Esan Central LGA, Edo state.”
She pointed out that the various incidents has led to repeated skirmishes and fights between voters, party agents and officials. For example, observers in Enugu reported “clashes between the party representatives, while others in Jigawa highlighted similar issues between self-professed party members.”
“Multiple reports of voter suppression and violence in Lagos leaves room for concern, alongside similar trends reported in Bayelsa, Edo and Rivers in the south-south.
“In the north-central, multiple irregularities in Benue state have been flagged by observers, while the contentious elections in Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe – coupled with reported security challenges – have led to increased attention on the remainder of the conduct of the elections in these states”.
The Chairman of the CDD’s Election Analysis Centre (EAC), Prof. Adele Jinadu, said the election witnessed low turnout of voters though polls varied from state to state based on anecdotal evidence,” like in the south-south, there were general sense of discouragement across the region due to the unfavourable outcome of last election”.
Meanwhile, Jinadu disclosed that CDD observer data showed that across the southwest zone INEC officials arrived on time and promptly commenced the process in over 80% of observed polling units.
Reporting by Julian Osamoto