Pro-Democracy Group, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) yesterday charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be proactive in the transmission of election results in areas with difficult terrains during Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State.
The group during its pre-election press briefing recalled that in the last election, results from riverine and mountainous local government areas like Ilaje, Ese Odo, Okitipupa and Irele arrived very late thereby raising issues about tampering with the results.
Chairman of the Election Analysis Centre, Prof. Adele Jinadu and Director of CDD, Idayat Hassan who briefed newsmen applauded the maturity of the Ondo electorate in focusing on policy issues during the electioneering.
Hassan charged INEC to be proactive with its logistics especially in those difficult terrains, advocating that results should be immediately transmitted to the portal to avoid the suspicion of results alteration and the attendant tension.
She said: “CDD hopes INEC will strategically factor these areas in its deployment plans to ensure there is no late arrival of materials. These factors will have to be considered in the aspect of reverse logistics, especially with respect to collation of results. Given the terrain difficulty in those LGAs, CDD calls on INEC to ensure its results viewing portal is capable of documenting results, especially from areas, which will pose a terrain problem.”
The group similarly urged the Commission to find ways to address the “largely partisan disposition” of transport unions, including the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Motorcyclists Association.
The group said: “One interesting trend observed by CDD in the Ondo State governorship election is the absence of or reduced level of attacks on the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Compared to governorship elections in other states, INEC has been largely spared of denunciations and attacks, which are clearly aimed at undermining the idea of the Commission’s impartiality. Politicians normally resort to the strategy of denouncing INEC so that if they lose the election, they can quickly blame INEC’s alleged compromise as the reason for their loss.”
Jinadu urged INEC to reciprocate the confidence reposed on it by taking actions that minimize incidents that give the impression that the electoral umpire is not being impartial.
He also advocated for the welfare of the corps members who would serve as ad-hoc staff during the election.
The group’s pre-election findings further observed that the level of the spread of fake news and misinformation in the Ondo election has been relatively low when compared to recent governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Edo States.