CDD express worry over credibility of gov’ship polls


By Francesca Iwambe

The Centre for Democracy and Development has raised doubts over the credibility of Saturday's and state House of Assembly elections following alleged cases of votes buying violence and intimidation of voters.

While the group commended improvements in the conduct of the elections, especially in the area of logistical deployment leading to prompter arrival of officials, the group noted that there were still occasional issues of non-functionality of the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System machines.

The CDD made the observations in its preliminary statement on the governorship and state elections in , on Saturday.

Briefing journalists, the Executive of the group, Idayat Hassan, said data from its 1,500 observers deployed across the country showed there were more cases of vote-buying during the governorship compared to the presidential poll of February 25, across the six geopolitical zones.

“In the North-West, observers in all seven states reported increased reports 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 were declared.

Similarly in the North-East, political party agents in were observed to have infiltrated the queues, pretended to be voters and used the chance to offer cash for votes.

In the South-East, there were reports of APGA and LP party agents using materials, phones 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 ballot before being paid, with party agents reportedly compiling a list of their voters in Esan Central LGA, Edo State.

This might be a reflection of the heightened political environment around the governorship polls, the importance of local personalities in state-level politics, and the shortages of fuel and .”

Mrs. Hassan also expressed concern over cases of insecurity and reduced presence of security officials during the elections, compared to the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

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