The period leading to 2018 Governorship election in Osun State remains a politically charged period with several pre-election activities for the 2019 elections underway. As part of Watching The vote (WTV) long-term observation effort, WTV Long Term Observers (LTO) were deployed to all the 30 Local Government Areas (LGA) in Osun state on July 20, 2018 to observe the activities of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s), voter education campaigns, political party campaigns and activities of marginalised groups. This report is the second in series of four and covers the period of August 17 to 30, 2018. The results of the analysis of WTV observation are presented in subsequent sections.
Summary of Findings:
There was visible voter education messaging targeted at women, youth and PWDs by INEC and CSOs where not witnessed. However, Voter education messages targeted at women, youth and PWDs were not witness or heard of in Boripe Ila, Ifedayo Irepodun. Odo Otin, Orolu, Olorunda, Osogbo, Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Ife East, Ife Cetral, Ife South, Ife North, Ilesha West, Obokun, Oriade, Ayedaade, Ayedire, Ede South, Ejbigo, Irewole, Iwo and Ola-Oluwa LGAs.
Youth, women and PWD groups are actively engaging the political space through canvassing for votes for political parties and candidates in Boripe, Ifedayo, Ifelodun, Odo-Otin, Orolu, Osobgo, Atakumosa West, Ilesha West, Ilesha East, Ede South, Irewole, Isokan and Iwo LGAs, Boluwaduro, Olorunda, Atakumosa East, Ife East, Ife North, Ife South, Oriade, and Ede South.
Political parties’ campaigns especially, campaigns rallies are increasingly dominating the political space in the state. The dominant political parties in the state (ADP, APC, PDP and SDP) have extended their campaign rallies to more LGAs as compared to the WTV first observation period (July 20 – August 16, 2018).
Voter inducement through the distribution of money and gift items were still visible in the state. It was either directly witnessed or heard of by 52% of the WTV LTOs (16 of 30) in Boluwaduro, Boripe, Ifedayo, Irepodun, Ila, Ifelodun, Odo-Otin, Olorunda, Osobgo, Ilesha West, Ilesha East, , Ayedire, Ejbigo, Irewole and Iwo LGAs of Osun state.
Targeted voter education and messaging should be sustained by both INEC and CSOs. WTV project also urges the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to invest in voter education as it is part of their mandate, under the law.
All electoral actors should intensify campaign activities to discourage the act of voter bribery in the coming elections as indicators abound.
Early warning signals should be addressed by relevant security agencies to avoid escalation or spillover to the electoral process. Security agencies should include both state and non state actors in addressing this early warning signs.