The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) says vote buying may be reduced during the Ondo governorship election scheduled for October 10, 2020.
According to the organisation, political campaigns have focused on issues relevant to ensuring development for the state, and as such, it is expected that voting will reflect the demand for good governance.
Idayat Hassan, director of CDD, in a statement, explained that trends discovered through the organisation’s dedicated election analysis centre (EAC) will determine the credibility of the election.
“The Centre observed that although the threat of misinformation and disinformation remains potent, especially in the final stretch of the campaign, its observation of the pre-election environment indicated that citizens in Ondo State have largely shown a strong resolve to take political actors, to task on key programmes and policies,” the statement read.
“An example of the resolve of citizens to demand answers to the key governance issues they face would be seen in the debates on school fees and the maternal health policy of the government. On the issue of increment in school fees for students in the state-owned higher institution, CDD observers report that many youths are airing their views on social media platforms like Whatsapp.
“From the way they are discussing how the policies have rubbed off on them, it is apparent that they were mobilised to engage the matter as an election issue, which should determine which direction voting should go. The impact of these debates has been in turn affecting policies, with reversals of initial positions by the government.
“Another instance of the prevalence of governance issues in the election is the debate on the status of the free maternal healthcare programme (Abiye), which was introduced by the administration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko. Citizens have been using the conversation around the election as an entry point to interrogate the incumbent on his administration’s handling of the free maternal care programme (Abiye) introduced by his predecessor.
“It is refreshing to see citizens using the electoral process as a basis to institutionalise democratic accountability. As a matter of fact, CDD projects that role of fake news and misinformation in the Ondo election will be relatively low compared to other states, partly because citizens are busy interrogating core governance issues. CDD hopes citizens will put these governance issues in perspective as they go to cast their ballot on Saturday.
“CDD believes that if citizens remain focused on these issues as they go out to vote on Election Day, incidents of vote buying will be reduced.”
CDD, however, expressed concern about the partisan activities of transport unions and militants, which it said may disrupt the electoral process.
The organisation called for maximum security in places tagged as flashpoints, such as Akure south and Idanre local government areas.
“CDD is of the view the presence of security in areas with history of election violence will deter elements which would be inclined to resort to violence,” Hassan added.