A Leading Civil Right Movement, and foremost pro-democracy think tank, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has rated the conduct and outcome of the September 19, 2020, Governorship election in Edo State as relatively credible.
The Centre while briefing Journalist in Abuja, noted that the election was peaceful , compared to other polls, recently conducted by INEC.
Speaking at the event , the Head Election Analysis Centre, Professor Adele Jinadu noted that each political party should ensure that the atmosphere sorrounding party primaries is in accordance with electoral practices.
“The Centre identified the controversial modality used for selecting the Governorship candidates of the two major political parties as a major cause of tension during the electioneering process.
The acrimony that resulted from it created serious intraparty fissures that cast an ominous pall over the peaceful conduct of the election.”
” Another process issue was the political culture of a zero-sum approach to the competitive electoral process that tends to precipitate violent electoral conflict and to encourage the abuse of the power of incumbency for partisan party political advantage”.
He further called on government and citizens to push to encourage compliance with Chapter II of the Nigerian Constitution and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to curb poverty in the country
“The root cause of poverty should be addressed. The problem of extreme poverty and unemployment, which he noted was responsible for buying and selling of votes, should be delved into appropriately”.
The Director of CDD, Idayat Hassan explained that to improve the conduct and credibility of future elections, the group has handed down a number of recommendations for electoral reforms, which it stressed were necessary to build on the gains of the election; and address some of the problems in the electoral process.
“The objective of such reform will strengthen electoral integrity and to more broadly promote sustainably good governance in the country to reinforce, and not separate it from, electoral reform, drawing on the experience of Edo.”
“It is clear from the Edo governorship election that, when encouraged and mobilized, citizens can serve as effective guardrail to securely protect electoral mandate from assault by anti-democracy elements.”
“Importantly we task INEC to concentrate on the dual purpose of implementing her protocol on conducting elections during COVID 19 and improved voters education program. This is broad tasks that must be implemented ahead of the forthcoming Ondo governorship elections.”
“This specific recommendation made to a broad range of stakeholders by the Centre includes; the need to reform the country’s party system to strengthen internal party democracy. “