Ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Edo state, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Yiaga Africa has expressed concern over the inconsistency in the application of electoral guidelines on cancellation of votes and margin of lead by INEC electoral officials.
These are early warning signs of violence in different locations across the state, it noted.
At a Pre-election press briefing in Benin City, the organization board co-chair, Dr Aisha Abdullahi said that Yiaga Africa is concerned “with the misapplication and inconsistency in the application of election guidelines” by INEC electoral officers.
According to her, in previous elections, cancellation of votes, entering of zero votes and application of the margin of lead have been used by compromised election officials to suppress votes and manipulate elections.
According to her, ” with the COVID-19 pandemic and the looming climate of insecurity in the lead up to the September 19 polls, there is overwhelming concern among stakeholders that registered voters in Edo may not be motivated to vote.”
As a preemptive measure, she urged INEC and security agencies to be professional and ensure transparency and openness in the management of cancellation of votes and determination of the margin of lead in line with electoral laws.
She also urged security agencies to address early warning signs of election violence to avoid escalation or spill over on election day.