How voter inducement, others influenced election process in Kogi, Imo, Bayelsa – CDD

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The CDD Election Analysis Centre (CDD-EAC) has observed several reports about voter inducement across all three states.

According to CDD EAC, observers reported incidents in PU 1,Ward 8 and PU 11, Ward 1 in Sagbama LGA in Bayelsa West.

The member of the CDD EAC, Dr Jack Jackson while breifing newsmen in Abuja on Saturday explained that the CDD Election Analysis Centre (CDD-EAC) has been observing the off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi with a deployment of over 150 fact-checkers and observers in all three states, as well as a team of data clerks, reviewers and analysts in its situation room in Abuja.

He said vote trading was reported in PU 16, Ward 6 in Yenegon LGA, PU 22, Ward 13 in Southern Ijaw LGA with reports of voter inducements ranging from 5,000-22.000 Naira including other items such as wrappers.

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According to him, “in PU 30 and 31, Ward 13, along with money, rice was also shared to buy votes and we are concerned that there were allusions that it might be linked to the delayed flood and subsidy palliatives that state governments only started distributing two days ago.”

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He said in Kogi, there were reports of vote buying in PUS 004, 038 and 039 in Ward A of Lokoja LGA, where party agents were allegedly sharing out money to voters upon confirmation that they voted for their party candidates.

“Furthermore, both APC and PDP agents were reported to have engaged in vote buying. with 2000 to 3000 naira shared, at PU3 Mbutu Ward, Aboh Mbaise LGA and PU11. Civic Centre Ward. Mbaitoli LGA. There was also another incident in Olamaboro LGA, Ward 3 und Unit 12, with reports of vote buying by APC and PDP agents.

“There were similar trends in Imo, where we observed incidents of vote buying in PU 11. Civic Centre Ward and PU 1, Umuodu Ward, both in Mbaitoli-Ezinihitte LGA. In PU 7, Central School UmuNakan Ehime LGA, there were reports that INEC ad-hoc staff were given monetary inducement by party officials. Based on our observation, incidents of vote buying have so far been concentrated in Maitoli- Ezinihitte, Owerri West and Njaba L.GAS.

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“This is particularly interesting, because Mbaitoli-Erinihitte and Owerri West LGAs have the highest number of collected PVC’s amongst the LGAs in the state with 150,012 and 134,192,” he said.

He said of particular concern were the reports of irregularities in Ogori Magongo LGA where there were pre- filled election result sheets in areas where voting had not even commenced.

He said these concems were shared publicly and led to significant concern and disturbance in the states and on social media.

“We are assured that INEC has cancelled voting in those areas and urged the commission to exercise the strongest punishment for those caught in this act

“This followed reports of party agents who were alleged to have canvassed support for their candidate the luteju PU of Ogori/Magongo LGA before the start of voting activities. There were also reports of the Igalamela LGA chair being caught by security personnel with bullets and wads of naira notes,” he said.

He said, “electoral violence has remained a sore point in this election hence was reported in Dekini LGA, specifically in Apala Ogane PU, Anyigh town, thug was reportedly caught and killed by military official while fleeing in an attempt to snatch ballot papers.

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“There was a similar attempt in Ganaja PU, Ajankuta LGA where the LGA chair was apprehended by voters.

“In Yenagoa LGA, observers reported that one person was shot at Famgbe community and, in PU 24 Ward, voting ended abruptly whim thugs destroyed election materials at about 11:45am.

“We note that in these are polling units, there was little to no presence of security officials. Similar instances were reported in Bruss PU/7 Ward 7, observers reported that there were to security agents as late as 10:19jutt. despite voting having darted. Similarly, in PU Ward 4, security officials only arrived at 11:00 am.

“An incident was reported in Imo, PUI. Aladinma Ward, Owerri Municipal LGA; where a former House of Representatives member was reportedly making trouble in the area, leading to arguments with other party agents,” he said.

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