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Ekiti 2022: Voter Inducement Becoming a Permanent Feature in Election
Yiaga Africa’s Watching The Vote Fourth Pre-Election Observation (PREO) Report
The Ekiti governorship election has so far witnessed an increase in money politics as the big spenders dole out cash in the supposed door to door campaigns. A practice now becoming commonplace in Nigeria’s election. With the elections happening alongside the primaries for the 2023 general election, the politics in the Governorship elections are riding on negotiations and renegotiations for political positioning both within party structures and at an inter-party level. As observed in this pre-election phase, the election is projected as a three-horse race with the Social Democratic Party rising in its prominence in the state in challenging the All Progressive Congress and People Democratic Party in this campaign phase. The observation indicates that amongst the parties contesting, the APC, PDP and SDP have campaigns ongoing in each of the 16 local government areas (LGA). Interactions with stakeholders and engagement within the state indicate that the June 18 governorship election will be one determined by money- visible in the level and frequency of voter inducement/vote-buying and personality contest. Another issue making rounds in the state is the expectation of the role of technology in the election and its potential to make or mar the election.
The pre-election phase indicates that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is consistent in implementing its preparatory activities from training of partners and personnel to deployment of materials and collection of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC). In addition, the commission conducted a mock accreditation which serves an important purpose in building confidence in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) technology. The mock accreditation, however, had some major gaps like the poor publicity and availability of information on the exercise by the INEC which resulted in low participation of voters in the selected locations.
This is the fourth Pre-Election Observation (PREO) Report, with findings based on reports received from the Watching the Vote Long term observers (LTOs) deployed in each of the 16 LGAs in Ekiti state. The report covers the period from May 13 to May 30 2022.