De-escalate Growing Tension Ahead of Edo Election – CDD Tells Politicians
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has called on politicians in Nigeria to de-escalate the tension building up ahead of the September 19, 2020, Edo state governorship election.
In a statement by CDD Director, Idayat Hassan highlights some of the early warning signs which portend grave danger for the integrity of Nigeria’s electoral process and its outcomes, the CDD stressed that some activities exhibited by political actors in the state seek to undermine the election.
The CDD cautioned that if not urgently addressed, these challenges would compromise the elections and taint the sanctity of the vote.
In its pre-election briefing paper titled: New Allegiances, Familiar Faces A Preview of Edo’s 2020 Gubernatorial Election, the CDD observed that since the start of the Edo governorship election campaign, there has been rampant defacing or outright destruction of campaign billboards by supporters of rival partisan camps in the state.
The report said the trend, as documented by CDD observers on the ground, show that in the stronghold of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), campaign billboards belonging to the All Progressives Congress (APC) are targeted and defaced and vice versa.
CDD observers also reported that foot soldiers of politicians across the state, especially in rural communities, have engaged in the exchange of verbal abuses, hate songs and chants, capable of provoking violent confrontation at a localised level.
Calling for adoption of issue-based campaigns, the CDD said the dearth of engaging conversations, which will enable citizens, know the candidate and party with the best governance ideas had undermined the very essence of the electoral process.
CDD in its recommendations therefore urged political parties and their candidates to focus the conversation in the remaining period of the campaign on development and governance issues.
It also called for the enforcement of provisions of the Electoral Act to prosecute political actors seeking to undermine the election.