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Separatist agitations in South East may affect Obi, Atiku’s chances, report warns

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
07 September 2022   |   4:05 am
A new report released by a pro-democracy think tank, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), yesterday, said insecurity in the North West might impact on the performance of All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu in the 2023 elections.

[FILES] INEC Enugu office

Says INEC needs 1.5 million officials to prosecute polls
A new report released by a pro-democracy think tank, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), yesterday, said insecurity in the North West might impact on the performance of All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu in the 2023 elections.

The organisation noted that secessionist agitations in the South East could reduce turnout, which may not favour Labour Party (LP) flag bearer, Peter Obi, or Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Abubakar Atiku.

The organisation, which made the observation in a report, titled: ‘Nigeria’s Presidential Polls: A SWOT Analysis’, released in Abuja, warned that rising insecurity, misinformation, money politics, religion and ethnic narratives may undermine credibility of the election.

The report, signed by CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, disclosed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) requires about 1.5 million election and security officials to successful prosecute the polls.

It stated: “With political campaigns looming in the coming weeks, key governance issues, such as insecurity, would be a factor in political calculations for the leading candidates as they traverse the country.

“Religion is likely to feature prominently in debates, following APC’s decision to contest the presidency with a Muslim-Muslim ticket. Renewed youth engagement in politics, a feature of the voter registration period, could also be transformative and favour Obi.

“Money will continue to play a huge role in determining who emerges the winner, if the presidential primaries and recent gubernatorial elections offer any lesson. Online campaigns will be more fiercely fought than ever, with attacks aimed at boosting candidates, attacking opponents and undermining INEC likely to be accentuated in social media in the run-up to, during and even after voting.”

It added: “Insecurity remains a critical issue, particularly in the North West and South East. Further challenging this operation are the prevailing structural, infrastructural, and cultural ecosystems in which the polls will take place.

“Prompt release of the entire INEC budget could help mitigate some of these. Finally, the role played by security agencies, and subsequently by the judiciary, may be as crucial in determining the credibility of the election as that of the election management body.

“Nigeria is currently facing an epidemic of insecurity. The violence, led by bandits, terrorists and secessionists, has been recorded across its six geo-political zones, further dividing the country along ethnic, religious and political lines.

“Holding credible polls in this context that guarantees the security of voters and INEC personnel will be a major challenge.”