CDD, in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES and signed by its Director, Idayat Hassan, on Monday, said it observed a positive development of peaceful conduct of the election and many voters pushing back against vote-buying.
The incumbent governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election, was returned re-elected according to INEC.
Mr Akeredolu polled 292,830 votes to defeat his closest rival, the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Eyitayo Jegede, who scored 195,791 votes.
The CDD rated INEC’s conduct of the election as an improvement on the milestones earlier recorded in Edo State.
“The improved and self-confident administration and conduct of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission[INEC] was remarkable.
“Notably the generally efficient and timely deployment of election personnel and materials that enabled the substantially hitch-free commencement of the elections and voting process, even in the difficult to access riverine areas of the state,” the organisation wrote.
“The immediate uploading of results on INEC Result Viewing Portal ensured the transparency of INEC’s result management process, in preempting attempts to introduce changes or altercations at other levels of collation.”
It added that the uploading of results also enabled stakeholders to track the progress of result uploads and project the outcome of the election before the final declaration.
“These dimensions of the election in Ondo State are noteworthy when set against the background of the typical hostile environment of competitive party and electoral politics in the country, characterized as it is by intra-party fissures and acrimonious inter-party disputes that are both capable of degenerating into violent conflicts before and on election day.” the group said
CDD, however, warned that the decline in voter turnout could threaten robust participation of the electorate, as well as the entire democratic system of governance.
The group also said it observed vote-buying, breach of COVID-19 protocols and the partisan role of the transport union, NURTW, cultists, pirates and militants in the state.
As part of its recommendations, the CDD emphasised the need for electoral reform which it said will address the rising incidence of vote-buying and other forms of electoral corruption and offences.
Another recommendation submitted by the group is, “Party reform to make the country’s political parties reflect democratic culture of accountability, transparency, inclusion and participation in their internal decision-making structures and nomination processes for elective public political offices.”
It also called on INEC to continue to enhance not only the results management process but also the electoral process in general.