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Vote-Buying, Insecurity Threats To 2019 Polls – Groups

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) have listed vote buying and insecurity as some of the possible disrupters of the 2019 general elections. Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, NDI Regional Director for Central and West Africa, made this known at a news briefing in Abuja on Friday. Fomunyoh said the delegation came…”
Yusuf
July 20, 2018 5:12 pm

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) have listed vote buying and insecurity as some of the possible disrupters of the 2019 general elections.

Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, NDI Regional Director for Central and West Africa, made this known at a news briefing in Abuja on Friday.

Fomunyoh said the delegation came to assess current political and electoral environment, preparations, and make recommendations in the build-up to 2019.

He said that the delegation met with senior officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), leaders of political parties, civil organisations, media and senior government officials.

He said the delegation also watched the voting process in Ekiti gubernatorial election and deeply appreciated Nigerians for sharing their views.

“The delegation notes that the 2019 presidential race and other polls in the states will likely be closely contested and take place against the backdrop of shifting political alliances and significant security concerns, “It also heard repeated frustrations about the continued role that money plays in Nigerian politics, from how candidates are selected to how parties seek to influence voters.

“Nigerians with whom the delegation met also voiced concerns about the state of insecurity in parts of the county and how that could impact negatively on the elections.

“Nigeria faces security challenges from a number of non-state actors that if unchecked could disrupt the electoral process, Boko Haram continues to carry out terrorist attacks on communities in the North-East.’’

Fomunyoh said that terrorists attacks, clashes between pastoralists and farmers were on the rise and the conflicts were further exacerbated by illicit trade in weapons and stolen cattle by criminals.

He said that the inability of security forces to quell this inter-communitarian violence, given political and religious overtones, if not addressed, could erode confidence in government.

He said that persistent insecurity and violence had led to high numbers of internally displaced persons in the North-East and Middle Belt that could pose specific challenges for the conduct of elections.

Mr Jan Surotchak, IRI Regional Director for Europe,  said many Nigerians who interfaced with the delegation expressed frustration with political parties that seemed as personality-driven and lacking in internal democracy.

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