Edo 2020: Report shows voters scared of violence, COVID-19, lack confidence in INEC

Edo 2020: Report shows voters scared of violence, COVID-19, lack confidence in INEC

- Voters in Edo state are afraid the forthcoming governorship election in the state may be marred with violence, a survey by YIAGA and NOIPolls has stated

- The survey also shows that both voters and election officers are afraid of contracting Covid-19 during the electoral process

- Voters, according to the survey, also said they lack confidence in INEC’s ability to conduct credible elections

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Ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in Edo state, a survey conducted by YIAGA Africa and NOIPolls has indicated that voters and election officers are concerned about contracting COVID-19.

Premium Times reports that the survey also shows that voters are worried about electoral violence, intimidation and the credibility of the election.

According to the report, about 68% of respondents support the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to hold the election during the COVID-19 pandemic, while 42% were concerned that voters and election officials could contract the virus on election day.

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Edo 2020: Report shows voters scared of violence, COVID-19, lack confidence in INEC

Edo 2020: Report shows voters scared of violence, COVID-19, lack confidence in INEC. Photo sources: Vanguard/The Nation
Source: UGC

The survey also states that approximately one-in-ten respondents said they had directly experienced violence and intimidation related to the elections, while over one-third had heard political candidates using hate speech on the campaign trail.

The report lists potential hot spots of violence where the electoral battles are expected to be fierce.

They include Etsako West, Etsako East, Etsako Central, Owan West and Akoko-Edo in Edo North Senatorial district. And in Edo South, Oredo, Orhionmwon, Egor, Ovia North East, and Ikpoba-Okha LGAs.

While in Edo Central Senatorial district, Esan Central, Esan North East and Esan West are potential hot spots.

Also, 46% of respondents said they lack confidence in INEC’s ability to conduct credible elections, 50% question the electoral umpires’ independence and 44% doubt the institutions’ preparedness for the election.

However, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing political crisis, an overwhelming majority of registered voters (85%) report being likely to vote in the election.

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Based on the findings of the survey, YIAGA Africa recommended that INEC addresses the perceptions of its lack of independence, impartiality and professionalism, amid other suggestions.

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Meanwhile, an attempted robbery attack on the convoy of Godwin Obaseki on the Benin-Auchi highway was on Monday, August 31, foiled by security operatives with the Edo state governor.

The incident happened when Obaseki was in a convoy on his way for the Ward-to-Ward campaign at Uhunmwode local government area of the state.

It was gathered that hoodlums mistook Obaseki for a prominent personality when the governor’s convoy was moving slowly without blaring siren at Erua village.

Read more on the Edo election here.

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