CLEEN believes any perceived act of prejudice or bias by security agents in favour or against any of the contestants can result in breakdown of law and order
The ancient towns of Ile-Ife, Ilesa, and Ila Orangun have been identified as likely hotbed of political crisis that need to be kept under close security surveillance during the August 9 gubernatorial election in Osun State.
This was part of the Election Security Threat Assessment carried out by CLEEN Foundation ahead of the polls.
Ile-Ife is the hometown of Iyiola Omisore, the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, while Rauf Aregbesola, the incumbent governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), hails from Ilesa.
The duo are considered the major contenders among the 20 aspirants participating in the election.
Ila-Orangun is the hometown of Bisi Akande, APC chieftain and former governor of Osun State.
Other potential flashpoints during and after the election include Iwo, Ikirun, Osogbo and Ede, the hometown of Isiaka Adeleke, another APC chieftain and former governor of Osun State, as well as Adejare Bello, Mr. Omisore’s running mate.
According to the CLEEN Foundation’s Election Security Brief, unguarded statements, inflammatory and inciting comments by political gladiators in the state are contributory factors to violence.
“Any perceived act of prejudice or bias by security agents in favour or against any of the contestants can resort to breakdown of law and order,” the study noted.
Other violence-inducing factors, according to the assessment, include late arrival of election personnel and inadequate polling materials; inadequate security personnel at polling units; and biased and inaccurate media reportage of events around the election.
“Unwarranted clampdown on opposition leaders as alleged in Ekiti State and overzealousness on the part of the security agents can be counter-productive as the people may resist any act of molestation or harassment,” the study stated.
“Inability of some voters to collect their Permanent Voters Cards or to find their names on the Voters Register may cause some challenges at polling units.
“A number of clashes have been reported to have taken place among the supporters of APC and PDP in some parts of the state. There were allegations of the supporters of these parties trying to outdo each other. These have led to injuries and destruction of properties.
“Vote-buying as is currently being alleged is an incentive to violence and a great risk factor,” the study added.