- Ondo state governorship election will hold on Saturday, October 10
- Yiaga Africa listed 11 local councils in the state as violence-prone areas
- The group said that more security personnel should be deployed to the identified areas in the state to prevent break down of law and order
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A non-profit organisation and election watchdog, Yiaga Africa, has called the attention of security personnel to some possible flashpoints for violence ahead of the Saturday, October 10, governorship election in Ondo state.
Legit.ng reports that the group said 11 of the 18 council areas are prone to violence, adding that adequate security must be put in place to prevent disruption of the election.
Speaking in Akure, during the pre-election briefing, the co-chair, Yiaga Africa, Aisha Abdullahi, said it was concerned about the seeming helplessness and failure of security agents to curb acts of lawlessness and impunity being perpetrated by armed political thugs and political actors during campaigns.
Abdullahi said that the pre-election environment was signposted by violent campaign rhetoric and hate speech.
“Yiaga Africa’s pre-election observation findings revealed a consistent trend of violence and arms stockpiling across some local government areas in the state.
“More worrisome is the attack on some female party supporters in Oba-Akoko who were allegedly beaten and stripped naked for wearing politically branded t-shirts and fez caps of one of the candidates.
“Notable LGs where incidents of violence and arms gathering were observed include Akoko South West, Akure South, Akure North, Akoko South-East, Akoko North- West, Irele, Idanre, Ese- Odo, Okitipupa, Ilaje and Owo.”
She said that the organisation is further concerned that election-day violence may occur in the identified locations if the security threats are not neutralised.
“The organization is further concerned with the seeming failure of the security agencies to curb acts of lawlessness and impunity perpetrated by armed political thugs and political actors during campaigns.
“Given the background of pre-election violence and gangster politics, the state may witness a further decline in voter turnout.
“The low turnout may further enhance chances for electoral manipulation in the strongholds of the major political parties particularly in rural areas where election rigging usually takes place."
Also speaking, Ezenwa Nwagu, co-chair, Yiaga Africa, called the attention of the INEC to notorious blind spots in riverine communities of Ilaje and Ese-Odo LGAs, stating that poll must commence early to avoid electoral challenges.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the INEC reacted to the claim that it was trying to undermine the credibility of the Ondo gubernatorial election through the appointment of returning officers.
It was reported that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through the chairman of its campaign council, Governor Seyi Makinde, had alleged that INEC appointed the vice-chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede for the job of collation of results.
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