Three days to the gubernatorial election in Ondo state, a report has said voters turnout election is expected to be lower than those of the last two cycles given the pre-election trends in the state.
The report, which was released by SB Morgen, an Africa focused geopolitical research firm, highlighted factors that will likely cause low-turnout of voters.
Strong among the reasons are pre-election incidents of violently that have been recorded in the state. Several clashes have occurred in Ondo state, days to the October 10election.
The election, which features 17 candidates, is being fiercely contended by candidates from the All Progressives Congress (APC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Zenith Labour Party.
The election, which will be a three -horse -race, is between the incumbent governor of the state, Rotimi Akeredolu; a former gubernatorial candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, and Agboola Ajayi, current deputy governor of the state.
Giving the reasons for the likely low turnout, the report states that the tension that has been built in the state before the election and the voting trend in the last two elections might cause a low turnout.
“The turnout for the Ondo elections is expected to be lower than in the last two cycles, in line with wider trends at the
national and state levels,” the report said.
“The just-concluded elections in
Edo – Ondo’s neighbour to the East – saw a turnout of only 27.5% of registered voters. It would be little surprise if a similar outcome was recorded, especially with heightened tension in the state due to the competitive nature of the election.
“Tension has been building in the state over the last several weeks, with clashes between PDP and APC supporters, as well as plenty of attacks on the press.
“The most highly publicised of the clashes took place on 16 September in Oba-Akoko,
Akoko South-West Local Government, in which 5 were injured,” the report contained.
The report stated that voters may opt to stay away, if there is a credible chance of violence in the election, as potential for violence could depress turnout.
Below is a breakdown of voters turnout for the last four elections;
2012 Ondo election turnout: 38%
2015 Presidential election turnout: 43.60%
2016 Ondo elections turnout: 35%
2019 Presidential election turnout: 34.75%
Pre-election violence incidents
Giving instances of pre-election violence in the state, where people were killed, injured and properties vandalised, the report held that low voters turnout might occur.
One of the incidents occurred on July 7 at Akoko South East, where two aides of Ondo politician were abducted by gunmen.
On July 25, “Akure Youths suspected to be students, believed to be working for the re-election of Gov. Akeredolu of Ondo state unleashed mayhem on the campus of the Adeyemi Agagu University of Science
and Technology (OAUSTECH).
“They were alleged to have attempted to force some students of the institutions to endorse Governor Akeredolu for second term but the students declined, hence the attack on them,” the report contained.
The August 19 attack at Idanre left six persons injured when hoodlums attacked Ondo SDP Secretariat, while many were also injured on August 20 when APC and ADC supporters clashed in Ondo West.
PREMIUM TIMES reported a recent violence , which occurred on October 4 where the supporters of APC and PDP clashed over the killing of an APC member in Oba Nla area of Akure on Saturday night.
Speaking on the violence, the police said no life was lost in the process but few supporters were injured.