YIAGA Raises Security Concerns in Edo Election, Identifies 13 Flashpoints

Samson Itodo
Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo

A coalition of civil rights organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of YIAGA Africa has expressed concerns over the increase of pre-election violence ahead of the Edo State governorship election scheduled for September 19.

The group also identified 13 areas across the three Senatorial Districts of the state as possible flashpoints.

YIAGA Africa raised these concerns in its Pre-Election Observation Report titled, ‘2020 Edo Election: An election defined by strongarm tactics and violence’ by its Executive Director, Samson Itodo.

The report which became public yesterday was released on August 31, 2020.

The report read in part ,“Based on our observation reports, the potential hotspots and flashpoints of violence include Etsako West, Etsako East, Etsako Central, Owan West, and Akoko-Edo in Edo North Senatorial district.

“In Edo South Senatorial district, our reports suggest Oredo, Orhionmwon, Egor, Ovia North East, and Ikpoba-Okha LGAs, while in Edo Central Senatorial District, Esan Central, Esan North East, and Esan West are potential hotspots. Reports from our LTOs suggest that the spate of violence and insecurity in the pre-election period may discourage voters from turning up to vote on election day.”

The report attributed the violence to thugs, touts, gangsters, and cultists on the one hand, and the widespread belief that elections could not be won – or smooth governance guaranteed – without strong-arm tactics and the support of powerful thugs.