The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on Saturday, said its 300 accredited observers who collected data on key aspects of the governorship election in Osun State observed violations of the Electoral Act by political parties and their agents in 14 Local Government Areas.
The Centre alleged that the parties continued campaigning, and canvassing for votes in close proximity to the polling unit in LGAs during voting while officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission looked the other way when the abuses occurred.
According to the first preliminary briefing on the election by CDD, the acts which contravene the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 were mostly reported in Ife Central, Odo Otin, Osogbo, Oriade and Irepodun.
Also, the organisation said it documented claims and counter-claims by political actors over allegations of vote buying.
An interim report signed by the Chair of CDD’s Election Analysis Centre (EAC), Prof. Adele Jinadu, which was read before journalists in Abuja, stated: “Our observers reported cases of political party agents campaigning, and canvassing for votes near the polling unit in 14 LGAs, which represents 9.6 percent of the polling units observed.
“These acts which contravene the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 were mostly reported by observers in Ife Central, Odo Otin, Osogbo, Oriade and Irepodun.
“CDD-EAC observers also reported seeing unremoved campaign posters at some polling units, just as political party agents openly canvassed for votes.
“A number of fake news stories, misleading captions for images, and the sharing of dead online links was also being used by partisan actors to mislead voters or to possibly depress the vote in areas in which the political opposition is perceived to have some strengths.”
While noting that adequate measures had been put in place to ensure peaceful voting, the Centre said pockets of disagreements between party agents and INEC officials were also reported by it observers in some polling units; adding that these incidents were largely resolved.
The CDD-EAC commended the punctuality of the election officials as well as the early arrival of voting materials, saying there was a marked improvement in the logistics arrangements made for the Ekiti off-cycle poll held last month.
“CDD-EAC notes that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) took some steps to address some of the gaps identified in the Ekiti State governorship election last month,” the organisation stated.
Group Urges FG To Ignore Campaign Of Calumny Against Sylva
The Movement for Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality (MOSIEND) has urged the Federal Government to ignore the ongoing campaigns of calumny against Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Prince Marley, and Mr Godwin Opiuyo, Chairman and Secretary of Eastern zone of MOSIEND in Yenogoa.
The group said it had noted with dismay that some unpatriotic individuals, envious of the performance of some political office holders, had resorted to cheap blackmail to discredit them.
MOSIEND stated that as a leading advocacy group in the Niger Delta, it would not fold its arms and watch faceless groups haul malicious and baseless claims to leaders from the region.
“The latest is the unwarranted media mudslinging from one shadowy bunch of fugitive agent provocateurs parading themselves as Nigerians for Transformational Change (NTC).
“The group with no known address, calling for the sack of the Chief Sylva over summons by a US District Court in Pennsylvania over a defamation of character case, which he instituted against one Jackson Ude is frivolous,” MOSIEND stated.
The group, in dismissing the call noted that the case of libel was instituted by Sylva against Ude in the US, adding that Sylva was the plaintiff while Ude was the Respondent/Defendant.
MOSIEND also noted that the matter has not been concluded thus the brains behind the blackmail was to whip up public sentiment against Sylva amounts to prejudice because the case was in court.
They urged the relevant agencies of the Federal Government to go after the masterminds of the smear campaign and bring them to face the extant laws as it concerns inciting the public based on falsehood.
Parties’ Campaign Committees: Group Makes Case For PWDs Inclusion
The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities has said that persons with disabilities should be included in campaign committees for elections.
The CCD Executive Director, David Anyaele, stated this on Friday during a press conference, at the Elomaz Hotel, in the Ikeja area of Lagos State.
Anyaele stated that political parties had the responsibility of taking appropriate measures to create space for equal opportunity for persons living with disabilities.
He said, “Political parties need to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in the campaign committees and campaign podiums should be made accessible to all with the provision of sign language interpreters, access to information and disability inclusive manifesto.
“INEC should ensure that they take appropriate steps to review all the previous off circle elections reports submitted by organisations of and for persons with disabilities, for the identification of forms and patterns as well as extent of complaints on persons with disabilities struggle on election days.
“This is with the view of finding solutions with scenario building. Findings from previous election reports shows that a bulk of the problems faced by Persons with disabilities participate on Election Day.”
The Executive Director urged the media to continue its support to the disability community.
He said, “The media is our eyes, ears and legs. With the help of the media, issues of concern to persons with disabilities would be mainstreamed in the 2023 general election conversations.”
The Publicity Secretary of the Lagos State Inter Party Advisory Council, New Nigeria Peoples Party, Richard Echigbue, stated that there was a need for people with disabilities to belong to a party in order to have a voice.
He said, “We encourage people living with disabilities to come and join a party and we can start the conversation from there.
“Our party for example, is based on egalitarian principles where equity reigns, there’s no discrimination or inequality.
“As long as you’re human, and you have the capability to perform, you’ll be given a chance. Other parties should also try and incorporate people living with disabilities into their system.”
Osun APC, PDP Trade Blame Over Killings
The Osun State chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last Saturday traded blame over reported killing of two members of the ruling party.
Three people were reportedly killed in Ede, the hometown of the Osun State Governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke, last Friday and Saturday while members of PDP were allegedly sharing balance of governorship election fund.
The incident also led to razing of residence of Osun Assembly Minority leader of PDP, Babajide Kofoworola.
A statement by APC Chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun through his media aide, Kola Olabisi, stated that the alleged killings of the two APC members by suspected PDP thugs in Ede during the fracas over disagreement on the sharing formula of the PDP left-over election fund was senseless, primitive and wicked.
Famodun noted that the shameful and wicked act of killings of fellow human beings over electoral loots by the suspected PDP thugs was an indication that the Osun PDP is fundamentally challenged.
He urged the Osun State Commissioner of Police to thoroughly investigate the incident, especially in the area that concerns an alleged compromised police chief who is said to be eyeing the position of the Chief Security Officer(CSO) to Senator Ademola Adeleke.
However, the PDP in a statement by the Governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke through his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, alleged that Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is planning to destabilise Osun State ahead of his exit from office in November.
He tasked the security agencies to swing into action and bring to book perpetrators of fatal attack and razing of the house of Osun State House of Assembly Minority Leader, Akogun Babajide Kofoworola in a reprisal attack.
The statement maintained that Adeleke strongly condemned the arson attacks on the lawmaker’s family and warned Governor Oyetola not to plunge Osun State into chaos as a consequence of his loss at the poll.
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