Governor Godwin Obaseki of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congres, APC, have been accused of inducing voters with cash and voters.
In a report on Friday, the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement Africa (YIAGA) said the two major candidates in the Edo governorship election have been involved in vote-buying.
Chairman of Yiaga Africa’s Watching the Vote 2020 Edo Election Observation Mission, Dr Aisha Abdullahi, lamented that the parties were not involved in issues-based campaign.
She said, “Political parties, especially the APC and PDP, are investing in the distribution of money and gift items as a strategy to swing voters.
“Within this reporting period, LTOs reported incidences of voter inducement in Igueben, Oredo, Ikpoba/Okha, Etsako Central, Owan West, Ovia South West, Egor, Ovia North East, Esan West, and Esan South East LG.”
Abdullahi also raised the issue of violence being sponsored by political actors in the state. She stated that the incidents of violence were prevalent in 13 of the 18 local government areas of the state.
She urged the Independent National Electoral Commission as well as security agencies to ensure that the election was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.
“These concerns are fuelled by the reports of violent arms stockpiling, recruitment of thugs, vandalism, and a surge in cult groups’ activities in battleground LGAs ahead of the election.
“INEC should ensure proper coordination with security agencies for the effectiveness and safety of personnel and materials deployment. This includes ensuring the safe delivery of personnel and materials after the election.
“Security agencies must maintain the utmost levels of neutrality and professionalism in enforcing election day security. They must respect the law and citizen’s constitutional and civic rights and refrain from excessive force,” she added.
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