New Telegraph

Ondo guber: 11 of 18 LGs are hotspots – Yiaga Africa 

… identifies threats of violence, arms gathering ahead of poll

Wale Elegbede and Adewale Momoh

Eleven out of the 18 local governments in Ondo State have been identified as possible hotspots for violence ahead of the governorship election taking place in the state on Saturday.
Addressing newsmen during its pre-election briefing, an election watchdog, Yiaga Africa, said it is concerned about the seeming helplessness and failure of security agents to curb acts of lawlessness and impunity being perpetrated by armed political thugs and political actors during campaigns.
Addressing the media alongside other board members of the group, Co-chair, Yiaga Africa, Dr Aisha Abdullahi, said the pre-election environment was signposted by violent campaign rhetoric and hate speech.
She said: “Yiaga Africa’s pre-election observation findings revealed a consistent trend of violence and arms stockpiling across some local government areas in the state.
“More worrisome is the attack on some female party supporters in Oba-Akoko who were allegedly beaten and stripped naked for wearing politically branded t-shirts and fez caps of one of the candidates.
“Notable LGAs where incidents of violence and arms gathering were observed include: Akoko South West, Akure South, Akure North, Akoko South-East, Akoko North-West, Irele, Idanre, Ese-Odo, Okitipupa, Ilaje and Owo.”
Yiaga Africa said it considered these local government areas as potential hotspots for violence in the election.
Also speaking, Mr Ezenwa Nwagu, Co-Chair, Yiaga Africa, called the attention of the Independent National Electoral Commission to notorious blind spots in reverine communities of Ilaje and Ese-Odo LGAs, stating that poll must commence early to avoid electoral challenges.

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