- The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has warned against the building tension in Edo state ahead of the governorship election slated to hold on September 19, 2020
- CDD said some politicians have been championing and sponsoring activities which could lead to violence in the state
- According to the centre, there is an urgent to de-escalate the tension and sanction all parties and politicians found culpable in such activities
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Ahead of the September 19, governorship election in Edo state, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has called on relevant authorities to sanction politicians who fan tension and violence in the state.
The centre in its new brief on pre-election activities in the state said some early warning signs which portend grave danger for the integrity of Nigeria’s electoral process and its outcomes are already being witnessed in Edo.
In the brief titled, "New Allegiances, Familiar Faces A Preview of Edo’s 2020 Gubernatorial Election", the CDD observed that some activities exhibited by political actors in the state seek to undermine the election.
CDD noted that since the start of the Edo governorship election campaign, there has been rampant defacing or outright destruction of campaign billboards by supporters of rival partisan camps in the state.
The report said the trend, as documented by CDD observers on the ground, show that in the stronghold of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), campaign billboards belonging to the All Progressives Congress (APC) are targeted and defaced and vice versa.
CDD observers also reported that foot soldiers of politicians across the state, especially in rural communities, have engaged in the exchange of verbal abuses, hate songs and chants, capable of provoking violent confrontation at a localised level.
Further stating that if not urgently addressed, these challenges would compromise the elections and taint the sanctity of the vote, CDD said politicians in Nigeria need to work towards de-escalating the tension building up ahead of the poll.
Also, making valid recommendations ahead of the election in Edo, the CDD tasked the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties, the media, civil society organisations and community-based groups to engage the electorate in conversations which will highlight the problem of disinformation.
The Centre urged political parties and their candidates to focus the conversation in the remaining period of the campaign on development and governance issues.
It also called for the enforcement of provisions of the Electoral Act to prosecute political actors seeking to undermine the election.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the CDD in a communique released after an CSOs roundtable in Edo state had urged political parties to engage in issue-based campaigns.
The CDD also called on all the political parties participating in the election to shun activities which may potentially incite violence among members and opponents alike.
According to the CDD, all parties should agree to sign a peace treaty ahead of the polls.
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