Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Ngozi James

Ahead of the Osun State gubernatorial election,  a security threat assessment conducted by the CLEEN Foundation has revealed that there are lingering factors that could trigger violence during the election which is holding on Saturday.

Overall, the Foundation said its assessment observed high expectations of a peaceful election in the state, explaining that the perception is widespread across the state, with an aggregate approval rating of 78.5 percent.

But despite this outlook epitomized by the high optimism for peaceful elections, the Foundation warned that violence can erupt. It noted that the political and security atmosphere in Osun State has remained tense, particularly with recent attacks on political party structures and candidates by thugs.

CLEEN Foundation, in a statement made available to Global Sentinel on Friday  and signed by its Executive Director,  Ruth Olofin, listed the indicators for violence to include the activities of party thugs (85.9%), the partiality of security agents (83.5%), widespread availability and use of hard drugs (82.7%), broadcasting and publishing of hate speech (81.9%), the prevalence of misinformation and fake news (80.9%), poor training and low professionalism of security agents (80.4%), undue influence of money (79.5%), partisanship, favouritism, partiality and sensationalism of the press (78.7%), lack of synergy among security agents (78.2%), activities of religious extremists, cultists, armed groups and ritualists (78.1%), poor synergy between INEC and security agents (77.1%), aggressive and excessive use of force (76.8%), conduct of party agents (76%), exclusion and discrimination (76%), problems associated with registration and accreditation devices (75.4%).

Other factors identified also include; misinformation by CSOs (74.9%), abuse of social media (74%), miscarriage of justice (72.9%), failure of regulatory bodies to ensure adherence to media regulations (71.8%), activities of immigrants and unregistered voters (71.7%), citizens disaffection with government (70.6%), problems associated with continuous voter registration (70.3%), inadequacy or excessive presence of security agents (70.1%) and problems associated with the deployment of security agents (70.1%).

To this end, the Foundation recommends that key actors in the electoral processes particularly INEC, political parties, security agents, mass media and CSOs need to pay increased attention to the identified risk factors to tackle them headlong through the various duty bearers.

“The early warning signs identified in the Election Security Threat Assessment report should be seen as a priority by appropriate authorities to take early action. Synergy among these agencies is imperative to the peaceful outcomes of the election,” the statement read.

“CLEEN Foundation Election Security Support Centre (ESSC)  will continue to observe the election and will release detailed preliminary and post-election statements on its observations. We enjoin INEC, the law enforcement and security agents to maintain the highest level of professionalism in their conduct by guarding against any form of compromise that could scuttle the democratic process. We encourage registered voters to go out and exercise their franchise toward a free, fair and credible election in Osun State come July the 16th 2022,” it added.

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