As the electorates are preparing to cast their ballot on Saturday to elect the next governor of Ekiti State, Cleen foundation’s Election Security Threats Assessment ( ESTA) has shown high expectations of peaceful elections in 13 out of the 16 local government areas of the State.
The organisation also observed factors that could trigger violence during the election: partiality of security agents, activities of party thugs, prevalence of misinformation and fake news, aggressive and excsesive use force, partiality of electoral officials, widespread availability and use of hard drugs, undue influence of money, broadcasting and publishing of hate speech, inadequacy or excessive presence of security agents and poor training and low professionalism of security agents.
This was contained in a press statement signed and made available to TOS NEWS by the organisation’s Executive Director, Ruth Olofin on Thursday in Abuja.
According to the statement, the NGO which revealed that it will deploy 32 observers across the 16 local government areas also indicated other electoral risk factors in the forthcoming election.
The statement read partly, ” Other Electoral risk factors identified in our Security Threat Assessment include: abuse of social media ( 68.1%) and under age voting (68%), problems associated with registration and accreditation devices ( 67.1%) and partnership, favouritism, partiality and sensationalism of the press (67.1%) activities of immigrants and unregistered votes(65.7%), conduct of party agents ( 64.4%) failures of regulatory bodies to enforce media regulations (63.3%).”
In its observation, the NGO revealed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has put in place measures to address logistics and operational challenges experienced in previous election as the deployment of electoral materials had since commenced while sensitive materials will be on ground on Friday.
“We commend INEC for considering key recommendations from stakeholders such as the conduct of mock accreditation in selected local government areas to test the functionality of the Biomodal Voter Accreditation System,” the statement added.
The organisation, however, recommended that the electoral umpire and security agencies to prioritise the welfare and professionalism of the personnel deployed on the election duty.