Friday, October 23, 2020

Ondo poll relatively free, fair and credible — Observers

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Dayo Johnson Akure

The Coalition of domestic accredited observers for Ondo governorship election have expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the last Saturday election.

They have therefore described it “as relatively free, fair and credible.

Addressing newsmen in Akure on behalf of the group, Prince Stafford Bisong commended the people of the state for their display of maturity and maintaining peace during the conduct of the election.

Bisong said that the group noted the report of vote-buying and intimidation of both voters in some areas within the state during the poll.

He, however, expressed concern over reports of some violence, vote-buying and intimidation of both voters and civil society domestic observers during the election.

“our observers reported that both sensitive and non-sensitive materials arrived early as 7:30 am in approximately 95 per cent of the polling units across the state making it a great improvement from the Edo state election. Great work in logistics by INEC.

“In as much as we give kudos to security personnel deployed across the polling units for the efficient response in curbing violent situations, we, however, frown at their compromise in working with party agents to perpetrate vote-buying.

“One wrong that was evident on the day of the election was vote-buying at the polling units across the state, even in the presence of security personnel

“The problems have become a recurring challenge in virtually every one of our elections and it is a puzzle that will continue to undermine the credibility of our elections and democratic process.

“This is not acceptable and it is practised that must be stopped for the benefit of outgrowing democracy. We implore Nigerian police and other security to be more professional in their conduct during election duties.

“We appreciate INEC for conducting one of the freest election in Ondo state. We adjudged the election to be free and credible.

INEC had declared Governor Rotimi Akeredolu as the winner of the last Saturday election having polled
292, 830 votes to defeat his closest rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 195,791votes.

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