The Transition Monitoring Group, a coalition of over 400 civil society organisations, has condemned what I described as the ‘invasion’ of Ondo State by governors ahead of Saturday’s governorship election.
The Chairman, Transition Monitoring Group, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, who spoke in Akure on Friday, said the presence of the governors could undermine free and fair elections in the state.
According to her, the governors could use their immunity to get involved in malpractices like vote-buying, intimidation and could also sponsor political violence.
Akiyode-Afolabi said, “TMG condemns the practice of governors from other states that have invaded Ondo State and refused to leave after campaign has ended.
“These governors who travelled and sponsored their political expedition with the meagre resources of their states may constitute a threat to free and fair election by taking advantage of their immunity to be involved in election malpractices like vote-buying, intimidation of security operatives and sponsorship of political violence. All invading governors should leave since campaign has ended.”
The TMG also raised the alarm over the activities of the major political parties, who she accused of promoting violence.
“Since the beginning of electioneering, the three major political parties, APC, PDP and ZLP have been involved in promoting political banditry, violence and reprisal, allegations and counter-allegations, vote-buying and voters inducement at different levels and in varied forms. This action is illegal as it flouts electoral law.
“This has raised political tension in the state until a few days to the election when more security personnel were deployed in the state.
“TMG condemns this desperation for power by political parties as it undermines the fundamental tenet of democracy which is free choice.
“TMG appeals to political parties and candidates to translate their agreement to observe peace by consenting to sign peace accord into practice through maintenance of order and observe all the rules governing elections during and after the poll.
“Election should not be a do-or-die affair if the purpose is to serve and not to loot the treasury.
“We demand the establishment of Electoral Offences Mobile Courts in future to deal with electoral offenders with dispatch on the day of election,” The TMG chairman said.
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