6 Emerging Concerns to Watch Out for During Ekiti Governorship Election

6 Emerging Concerns to Watch Out for During Ekiti Governorship Election

  • With just a few days left to the gubernatorial elections in Ekiti, the preparations of INEC seem not to be intact at present
  • Yiaga Africa's Watching the Vote (WTV) team in its report reeled out some major concerns that might pose as likely shortcomings during the election
  • It was gathered that there is a high level of voter inducement activities across the state, which may pose a threat to the credible election

Ahead of the gubernatorial polls in Ekiti state slated for Saturday, June 18, Yiaga Africa’s observation team, Watching the Vote (WTV) has rolled out six emerging concerns likely to be prevalent at the polls.

According to the WTV reports made available to Legit.ng, on Thursday, June 9, the group also highlighted some key findings it gathered from its observation.

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6 Emerging Concerns to Watch Out for During Ekiti Governorship Election
Yiaga Africa's WTV team revealed that there is a worrying concern over the incessant rate of voter inducement. Photo: Yiaga Africa
Source: Facebook

As contained in the report, Yiaga said there is an incessant rate of voter inducement which is likely to take a toll on the electoral credibility of the governorship election.

Yiaga Africa also revealed that the mock election exercise meant to check the functionality of BVAS and the capacity of INEC staff is a major concern.

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Below are the six arising concerns likely to distort the smooth running of the Ekiti gubernatorial election.

1. Rising Spate of Voter Inducements

Yiaga Africa is immensely concerned that the spate of voter inducement which has taken a dimension of the door-to-door engagement may become the major determinant in the elections. We are worried that, despite persistent campaigns against voter inducement, politicians have continued to prioritize vote trading over issue-based campaigns. Just like in the 2018 Ekiti governorship election, where mandates were presumed to be purchased rather than duly elected, this year’s election is shaping up to be a bigger money fiesta. The Ekiti election may be an election decided by the highest bidder.

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2. Poor Publicity of the Mock Election Exercise

The mock accreditation exercise conducted by INEC in Ekiti to test the functionality of the BVAS and the capacity of its staff on Monday, 30th May, is a laudable initiative. However, we are concerned about the supposed success and viability of the mock exercise due to poor citizens’ participation in the process.

The mock accreditation was conducted amidst poor publicity and a lack of information on the exercise by the INEC. The low participation and the few numbers of 12 sampled locations may not have sufficiently provided an adequate assessment of the deployment of the BVAS.

3. Allocation of Voters to New Polling Units

With the expansion of access to polling units conducted in 2021, Ekiti state has 250 new polling units to increase the number of polling units in the state from 2,195 to 2,445.

While the effort is intended to ease election administration for the commission and access to prospective voters, Yiaga Africa is, however, concerned about the commission’s strategy for allocating polling units to voters in the state.

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With barely two weeks to the election, concerns around imbalance in the distribution of voters to polling units remain an issue. Some polling units in Ekiti have as many as 3000 registered voters.

The likely shortfall in the number of polling officials, and the high number of registered voters in these polling units may pose a major challenge for crowd control and effective management of the polling units on election day. We expect the commission to improve its communication on the new polling units to inspire voter confidence in the process.

4. Technology Adoption and the BVAS Deployment

A major concern ahead of the election is the functionality of the BVAS in accrediting voters timely and efficiently and the quality of training of personnel using the technology. With the poor citizens’ participation during the mock accreditation exercise, it is important that INEC invests in more voter information and publicity on the BVAS as well as promote its value to the election. This will inspire citizens' confidence in the process. Additionally, there is the need to invest in adequate training of personnel and ensure that only trained personnels are deployed on election day.

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5. INECs Decision on Invalid Registrations and Possible Impact on the Process

With the recent news that over forty-seven thousand (47,000) invalid registrations were discovered in Ekiti state, we are worried that affected registrants may not be aware of the fate of their registration and thus have no opportunity to review the situation before an election.

6. Permanent Voters Card Collection Rate:

We commend INEC on early commencement of the PVC collection exercise for both old and new registrants. This is an improvement from the 2021 Anambra Governorship election. However, we are concerned that the PVCs of some newly registered voters are not yet ready and available for collection, despite voter efforts to collect their PVCs.

Ekiti 2022: Yiaga Africa partners Police

In another related event, Yiaga Africa has strike a partnership understanding with the Nigerian police ahead of the Ekiti gubernatorial elections.

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The Commissioner of Police in Ekiti State, CP Tunde Mobayo has said the Nigerian Police Force does not have a choice but to collaborate with Civil Society Organizations like Yiaga Africa.

He said due to the level of work they do on building early warning systems and providing information to prevent escalation of election-related violence, it will be difficult to look away.

Source: Legit.ng

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