EDO, Nigeria – The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has raised the alarm over the tension and violence in Edo State.
It advised politicians to de-escalate the situation ahead of the September 19, 2020 governorship election.
Idayat Hassan, CDD Director, in a statement on Thursday, said there has been rampant defacing or outright destruction of campaign billboards by supporters of rival partisan camps.
Hassan said these have been the happening in the strongholds of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
CDD announced its observation that foot soldiers of politicians are engaging in the exchange of verbal abuses, hate songs and chants.
The director condemned the near-exclusive focus by candidates and key party figures on personal insults against opponents.
Hassan also alerted of stockpiling of small arms and light weapons in the state.
CDD further expressed concern over the non-compliance with COVID-19 prevention protocols at political events.
It called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to call parties, members, and supporters to order.
CDD advised the electoral umpire to start a strategic and effective solution to implementing its COVID policy during the election.
“For instance, if a voter shows up at a polling unit without a face mask, how should ad-hoc staff respond to the situation without disrupting the elections?
“There is also a need to train INEC ad-hoc staff to enable them to understand what is required of them in the context of COVID-19 prevention on election day,” it added.