Ondo election: CDD calls for tougher action against vote buying

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The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has called for tougher action against vote buying. There were reports of politicians inducing voters in Saturday’s election in Ondo state.

At a presentation of its final observation report on the election, CDD listed violence and fake news as some of the factors undermining the sanctity of elections.

Adele Jinadu, head of CDD election analysis centre, and Idayat Hassan, CDD director, who presented the report, said the exercise in Ondo was an improvement on what was recorded in Edo state.

The group commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for uploading election results on its portal.

However, CDD said despite efforts to improve logistics and management of elections, some “dark clouds” will continue to undermine the credibility of the electoral process.

“These dimensions of the election in Ondo state are noteworthy when set against the background of the typical hostile environment of competitive party and electoral politics in the country, characterised as it is by intra-party fissures and acrimonious inter-party disputes that are both capable of degenerating into violent conflicts before and on election day,” CDD said.

“But as the October election in Ondo state, as indeed the earlier one in Edo state in September 2020, makes clear, there remains a great deal of improvement to carry out in the management and conduct of election in the country, while the structural and cultural anchors of competitive party and electoral politics in the country is hugely problematic and more aggressively addressed through the nurture of civic-minded citizens determined to defend the electoral process and act as permanent guardrails against democratic reversals.

“In the case of the Ondo election, as in the case of Edo, the results were processed within about 7 to 8 hours of the close of polls. CDD recommends that, going forward, INEC should continue to enhance not only the results management process, but also the electoral process in general.

“Towards this end, it will be important to begin focusing on the need for the replacement or upgrade of equipment such as the SCRs, or, indeed looking for better, multifunctional equipment that can encompass the entire process from the registration of new voters through to the processing of results.”

Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of the state, and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was declared winner of the Ondo election.

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