Folalumi Alaran in Abuja
The Vice Chairman of the Alliance for Deepening Democracy (A4DD), Faith Waziri, has expressed grave concern over undemocratic actions observed during the off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo states.
Waziri, at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, highlighted the authoritarian conduct of political parties and candidates, emphasising instances of violence, threats, and intimidation that marred the electoral process.
She pointed out that incumbent governments created an uneven playing field, restricting opposition candidates from campaigning in capital cities.
According to her, “Undemocratic actions by political parties and candidates were glaring, marked by violence, threats, and intimidation, disrupting a fair electoral process. Incumbent governments contributed to an uneven playing field, restricting opposition candidates from campaigning in capital cities.”
Waziri highlighted findings indicating the violence and reported attacks on candidates in Kogi and Imo states.
“Regrettably, a young woman lost her life in Kogi due to political thuggery. Such incidents foster an environment contrary to democratic ideals, fostering increased voter apathy. Widespread voter apathy was noted, attributed to fears of violence at polling units,” She lamented.
The group criticized INEC’s handling of recurring issues, questioning the organisation’s monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
Waziri stated, “The delayed arrival of voting materials and officials, along with a capsized boat incident in Bayelsa, has raised concerns about the effectiveness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”