Ekiti election: TMG identifies flash-points of violence

The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has identified various
violence-prone areas in Ekiti state, ahead of the Saturday
governorship election.

The group also bemoaned what it termed over-deployment of security
agents to the state for the purpose of the election.

The flash-points identified by the group, included: Ikere Ekiti, Oye
Ekiti, Ire Ekiti, Isan and Efon Alaaye.

In Ado Ekiti, the state capital, areas like Ajilosun, Atikankan, Odo
Ado, Mathew, Ogbon Ado, Ijigbo were also identified.

Addressing newsmen on Friday in Ado Ekiti, the TMG chairperson, Abiola
Akiyode- Afolabi said the areas are noted for violence during
elections in the past.

Afolabi, who spoke alongside the Southwest Coordinator of the group,
Sulaiman Argbagbu, however, called on all stakeholders to support
peaceful and credible election in the state.

She said the identification became necessary for civil society
organisations, security agencies and other relevant agencies to beam
their searchlight on the areas.

"Traditionally, there are huge concentration of people who usually
gathered in these areas.

"It is for civil society organisations and security agencies to
concentrate their attention on the areas in other to reduce violence."

On the security deployed in the state for the purpose of the election,
Afolabi said over-policing of the poll may discourage many voters from
participating in the election.

She said: "In a state as fragile as Ekiti, it is expedient that the
gubernatorial election is done in a manner that ensures safety of
lives and property, knowing fully that Nigeria in recent times have
suffered preventable loss of lives and property, this election should
therefore not add to the number of deaths already recorded.

"The level of tension in Ekiti State at present is high and a direct
threat to voter turn out, the credibility of the process and the
peaceful conduct of the election.

"TMG is also worried about the overwhelming deployment of police
personnel for Ekiti Election. This is clear indication that
politicians have not learnt their lesson from past experiences. Over
deployment of security agent and political violence or threat of
violence are vicious cycle that undermine credibility of the electoral
process, intimidate the electorate and result in poor voters turnout."

The group, however, urged the Independent National Electoral
Commission (INEC) to ensure that the election is free, fair and
conclusive and that the election materials are deployed on time at the
polling units to avoid voters being apprehensive.

She said the TMG will continue to support the government, Nigeria
citizens and civil societies groups to ensure good governance is
entrenched in Nigeria through responsible leadership.

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