YIAGA Africa’s WatchingTheVote has raised alarm over of voters’ inducement ahead of September 22 governorship election in Osun state. This was revealed by Project Director, Cynthia Mbamalu WTV during a press briefing in Osogbo, the state capital.
According to Ms Mbamalu, WTV pre-election findings, observed that voters’ inducement through the distribution of money and gifts was visible in the state.
She said there was urgent need for all election stakeholders especially political parties to intensify campaign to discourage the act of voter bribery before and during the election.
WatchingTheVote pre-election observation also revealed that, electoral preparatory activities are ongoing in the State with over half (91%) of WTV LTOs reported witnessing election preparatory activities undertaken by INEC in the state.
‘While Youth, Women and PWD groups are actively engaging the political space through canvassing for votes for political parties and candidates in the state, Voter education messages targeted at women, youth and PWDs were not witnessed or heard of in Boripe Ila, Ifedayo Irepodun. Odo Otin, Orolu, Olorunda, Osogbo, Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Ife East, Ife Central, Ife South, Ife North, Ilesha West, Obokun, Oriade, Ayedaade, Ayedire, Ede South, Ejbigo, Irewole, Iwo and Ola-Oluwa LGAs’, she said.
She also urged political parties and their candidates to act within the ambits of the law and promote a positive political culture that would enhance peaceful election.
While urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to sustain voter education, Ms Mbamalu urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to invest in voter education as part of its mandate.
She advised electorate who have yet to collect their permanent voter cards to do so to enable them to perform their civil duty on the day of the election.
Besides, Ms Mbamalu said the group, as a way of promoting electoral integrity, had trained 60 trainers and would be deployed to all the 30 local government areas of the state.
She said that the trainers would in turn train 500 Watching the Vote Polling Units observers and 32 roving observers.
Ms Mbamalu said the group’s Watching the Vote Project would deployed the parallel Vote Tabulation methodology, which uses statistical principles, Information and Communication Technologies to provide systematic data on the quality of election day processes.