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Nigerian Politics

25 CSOs warn Kogi SDP candidate against wild allegation

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25 CSOs warn Kogi SDP candidate against wild allegation

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A Coalition of 25 civil society organisations have called on security agencies to caution political parties against activities that could plunge states into serious crisis, ahead of the off-season governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states.

The Civil Society Organisations, in a communique issued after a three-day election preview on the three states, specifically singled out the Social Democratic Party’s slant of activities in Kogi State as an example of what security agencies must caution stakeholders against.

According to them, the wild allegations and ethnic profiling which have become the hallmark of the SDP’s campaign in Kogi State, “are
capable of compromising the peace and security of the electorate, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, election observers and other candidates in the state.”

The CSOs said they came to this conclusion after painstakingly monitoring campaign strategies of various political parties participating in the November 11 gubernatorial elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo States.

They pointed out that it was necessary to nip these activities in the bud to forestall possible security breaches and utterances that may provoke ethnic disaffection and electoral violence during the off-season polls.

The communique was signed by the Director of Research and Data Analysis of the coalition, Dr. Jaiyeola Isiaka, and jointly presented to the media, in Abuja on Thursday.

“The State’s Police Commissioner recently had reason to caution the same SDP candidate as published by many media platforms not to drag him into the politics of the wild allegations he has been making which have the potential to overheat the state prior to the election,” the coalition said.

On how Bayelsa and Imo States have been faring since their campaign activities began, the communique said, “In Bayelsa State, the signs of security concerns are already surfacing but not so serious. The tone of campaign language between the two leading candidates of the APC and PDP is becoming more accusatory and volatile. Security agencies must monitor the supporters of both leading candidates of APC and PDP in order to forestall any serious breakdown of law and order before, during and in the immediate aftermath of the election. Possibility and rate of violence is 35%.

“Imo State: This is the state that security agencies must pay serious attention to because of the seemingly worsening security situation in the state. The activities of the unknown gunmen are not helping matters at all. 

“Security agencies must up their game in Imo state because it is a major flashpoint in this particular off-cycle governorship election.
Just yesterday (Tuesday), eight security operatives – soldiers and policemen were ambushed in the state, and allegedly killed and set ablaze. The possibility and rate of security challenges are projected to be 55% or more.”

The groups, while revealing their projections on voter turnout in these states said 35 to 40 per cent would come out to vote in Bayelsa, 20 to 25 per cent in Imo, while about 50 per cent turnout was expected in Kogi.

On the election outcomes, the communique read, “The following projections are based strictly on delegates’ reports and research carried out by Coalition of Civil Society Organisations involved in this effort and are totally nonpartisan.

“Bayelsa State: The incumbent Governor seems popular in the state and, judging by the reports of the Bayelsa State delegates at this preview, the election is a straight action between the candidates of the APC who is a former Governor of the state and the incumbent who is flying the flag of the PDP.

The results are projected as follows: APC: 30% of the total votes to be cast; PDP: 40% of the total votes to be cast; Others: 30%.

“Imo State: The incumbent who is the candidate of the APC is a strong contender in this election. The influence of incumbency, among other things, are likely to work in his favour, all other things being equal. However, opposition Parties in the state are gathering significant momentum, especially the Labour Party.

“Our projections are as follows based on independent reports by organizations based in the state – APC: 35% of the total votes to be cast; PDP, 25%; and LP, 30%.

“Kogi State: Based on the reports of the Kogi State delegates at this conference and our research, the upcoming election in the state will be keenly contested among the candidates of the ruling APC, the SDP and the PDP.

“Our projections are as follows on the basis of independent reports by organizations based in Kogi State: Accord, 15% of estimated votes; APC, 45% of the total estimated votes; PDP, 10%; SDP, 15%, others,15%.”