Edo election marred by votes buying – Observer group, CDD alleges #EdoDecides2020

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) says despite the peaceful conduct of the Edo State governorship election, some cases of violence were recorded in five local government areas.

CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, disclosed this on Saturday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, a special programme designed for the September 19 governorship poll.

She also raised concerns over electoral malpractices, notably vote-buying which she said marred the electoral process in the state.

According to her, attempts were made to shape the perception of people on the true situation of things.

“We have just seen pockets of violence in five local government areas, nothing to write home about.

“There were records of electoral offences. Important also is the rampant vote-buying that marred these elections. Lastly is an attempt to actually perception such that what was really happening on the ground did not really match the reality on social media,” she said.

The electoral observer also reacted to the way and manner the electorates conducted themselves amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

She argued that: “the issue of the implementation of INEC policy on COVID-19 remains a challenge that can lead to a spike.”

This comes as some voters were seen in some polling units not adhering to instructions stipulated by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the relevant health authorities.

While some results were being collated, many of the crowed voters were not maintaining the physical distancing directives neither did they were their nose masks in avoid further spread of the coronavirus disease.

Meanwhile, mixed reactions trailed the electoral exercise in Edo, with various reports of electoral gadgets malfunctioning, claims of vote-buying, and pockets of palpable chaos nipped in the bud.

In the early hours of today, there was mild tension at Emokpae Model Primary School in Oredo Local Government Area of the state, where Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is one of the candidates in the poll, went to cast his vote.

The fracas resulted from a misunderstanding between an agent of a political party and a supposed election observer. This occurred while some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were setting up for the election.

The party agent is said to have mistaken the observer for another party agent and challenged him for sitting on a seat meant for the electoral officials. As a result, both men engaged in an altercation as other electorates at the venue watched.

The situation was however brought under control following the intervention of the security agencies on the ground.

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