A major election monitoring group has warned of bloody violence in its preliminary analysis of the upcoming governorship election in Kogi State.
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) said in a statement Thursday night that charging political rhetoric has intensified amongst politicians in the state ahead of the November 16 election.
“Our findings from the observation of the pre-election environment point to a very volatile political environment, characterised by fierce rhetoric, threats of violence and actual incidents of violence,” the CDD said in the report signed by Adele Jinadu, its chairman of election analysis centre, and Idayat Hassan, the think-tank’s director.
Kogi and Bayelsa are the two states where residents would be voting to elect new governors on Saturday. The situation has been equally tense in Bayelsa State, where deadly violence has broken amidst disputes between political parties and their supporters.
Governor Yahaya Bello is seeking a second term under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. He is being closely challenged by Musa Wada, a brother of former Governor Idris Wada who picked the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nomination.
There are also several candidates representing a slew of other political parties in the exercise, including Natasha Akpoti of the Social Democratic Party whose campaign headquarters was recently torched.
The CDD said politicians have failed to de-escalate tension ahead of the election, allowing their thugs to run riot while indulging in vitriolic comments themselves.
“In the face of these threats and actual manifestations of violence, it is our considered position that the security agencies empowered by the constitution and other extant laws should no longer stand by and watch the perpetrators go scot-free,” the CDD said in its report.
The CDD, which has already deployed dozens of observers across the state to monitor voting, said INEC and security agencies appeared ready for the exercise, but warned that all agencies would be held to account in case of any lapses.