With about 72 hours to the Osun State governorship election, a coalition of civil rights organisations under the aegis of Transition Monitoring Group, on Wednesday, said it had uncovered ongoing plans by politicians to disrupt the electoral process.
The organisation also said it would be deploying the hundred citizen observers in the thirty Local Government Areas in the state.
Besides plans to unleash violence, the coalition said its independent investigations had revealed that politicians had embarked on the distribution of money, food items and gifts in twelve Local Government Areas of the state, with the aim of inducing the indigenes to vote in their favor.
The Chairperson of TMG, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, revealed this in a statement entitled: “The ugly trend of voters inducement/vote-buying in Osun is inimical to the credibility of the electoral process.”
“As part of its commitment to promoting free, fair as well as effective and accountable management of the election, TMG will observe the 2018 Osun State governorship election. TMG in collaboration with its members will deploy three hundred citizen observers across the thirty LGAs in the state to observe the election day processes and conduct of the security and other stakeholders during the election,” she stated.
While calling on security agencies and election monitoring groups to work towards stopping the processes of voters’ inducement in the state, she advised that there should be adequate deployment of security personnel to maintain law and order at polling units, while at the same time ensuring the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of electoral offences.
Akiyode-Afolabi noted that citizens’ votes were valuable assets that must be guarded jealously, adding that vote-buying was an electoral offence which undermined the legitimacy of elections and weakens representative democracy.
She said, “In the build-up to the September 22, 2018 governorship election in Osun, TMG has received reports of distribution of money, food items and gifts by politicians at Boripe, Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Ife North, Ife South, Obokun, Ede North, Egbedore, Boluwaduro, Ila, Irepodun, Iwo Local Government Areas of the state.