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#EdoDecides2020: Young girls used for vote-buying – CDD

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#edodecides2020:-young-girls-used-for-vote-buying-–-cdd

The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) said pockets of violence, rampant vote-buying, and poor logistics of electoral body marred Saturday’s Edo governorship election.

In its preliminary report issued on Saturday, the CDD said the late arrival of INEC officials across the state led to the late commencement of the election in many parts, and the development was caused by poor logistics, such as late transportation of personnel and election materials to polling units.

The most worrisome trend observed by the centre is the level of sophistication with which politicians engaged in the criminal act of vote-buying, the report said.

“Young girls were used for indirect vote-buying during the election.” the statement read in part.

“The tactics used by supporters of the major parties included inducements such as gifts of N1000 and N5000 in cash, Ankara fabric, spaghetti and other food items, the centre said, adding that, “Tickets were also given in lieu of cash for voters to vote and then return to use the ticket for collection of the cash.”

CDD also indicted law enforcement agents for failing to arrest and prosecute political actors who engaged in vote-buying.

“Law enforcement officials largely looked the other way while vote-buying was going on. No efforts whatsoever were made to bring to book the perpetrators of these acts, which corrupt the electoral process.”

“The brazen manner with which votes were bought and sold in the open calls to question the relevance of the over 30,000 police officers deployed to enforce the law during the election. CDD is concerned that despite expending time and resources to deploy thousands of law enforcement officials to the electoral space, the officers did nothing in the face of infractions such as vote-buying.

The centre further drew attention to the “dangerous trend” of outlandish claims of attacks by politicians that created a climate of fear of expected violence.

“CDD observers reported incidents of violence In Ikpoba Okha, Oredo, Esan West and Oriohomwan due to the activities of political thugs who disrupted voting in different polling units.

“In Ologbo, Ikhoba Okha LGA, for example, one person was reported to have been shot while in Ihomwonde LGA, Ward 5 PU 1, 2, and 3, conflicts erupted amongst party agents that resulted to disruption of the process.” the statement said.

The election observer group and non-governmental organisation, the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth, and Advancement (YIAGA), had also released its preliminary report with similar findings.

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PREMIUM TIMES reported earlier how two journalists covering the polls were molested by thugs.

The incident took place at the polling unit of the immediate past national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, at Ward 10 (Uzairue North East), Polling Unit 1 of Etsako West local government in Iyamho area of Uzairue.

A PREMIUM TIMES journalist, Samson Adenekan, was slapped, manhandled and then briefly detained by the thugs for allegedly taking pictures and videos.

Voting has since ended and collation and announcement of Local Government results are underway.

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