CDD: Politicians making statements that can trigger violence

Experts at the Centre for Democracy and Development’s (CDD) election analysis centre (EAC) say the political and security situations have heightened in states where supplementary elections will hold on Saturday.

They said this during a preliminary assessment of the rerun elections that will take place in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto states, where the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared elections inconclusive.

The CCD alleged that “politicians have been making unbecoming and provocative statements that may trigger violence in the lead-up and during the elections.”

In Benue state, the CDD said “APC and PDP have raised an alarm over irregularities, alleging the use of militia in army uniform to intimidate voters during the supplementary election. The parties are locked in a battle of survival as the election draws closer. The PDP in the State has deployed its senior party stalwarts to serve as poll agents, possibly to counter any form of manipulations. The Benue Youth Forum (BYF) has alleged the mobilisation of armed thugs from Kogi state to disrupt the process. More so, security agencies must take these allegations seriously and swiftly respond to any potential threats before they escalate.”

In Kano state, the CDD said “the state governor and the APC has alleged that Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso paid thousands of ‘yan tauri’ (hunters), mobilised to cause havoc during the rerun election. According to the allegation, the ‘hunters’ will be drafted within and outside the state in the pretense of securing leaders of the PDP. The APC says the aim of mobilising these ‘hunters’ is to subdue the security agencies and oppress their party supporters.”

They also spoke about Plateau state where “Governor Dalung, who is in the clear lead has raised security concerns as the state heads for supplementary election, attributing the killing of about 82 and rustling of about 30 cows as “politically motivated”, which may have a backlash effect, resulting in the farmers-herdsmen crisis.

The CDD expressed worries in Bauchi state, saying “the late decision by INEC to go ahead with governorship rerun except in Tafawa Balewa is causing some concern. They would still have to wait for the courts to determine the Tafawa Balewa case before they can declare the governorship result.”

In Sokoto state, the experts said “the political parties, by all means, will play any role to secure victory for their party. In this case, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko who won his re-election under the APC and orchestrated a big win for the APC in the State is a factor one need to look out for in the supplementary election, while the likes of Attahiru Bafarwa cannot be underestimated in his calculation to get the incumbent secure the ticket.”