Mid-Day Situation Report On The 2022 Gubernatorial Elections In Osun State
By Our Reporter
Osun State is currently holding its gubernatorial elections across the 30 local government areas of the state. This is the 7th gubernatorial election in the State since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999. The Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), formerly known as the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), set up an Election Analysis Centre to monitor the general conduct of the Osun State Gubernatorial Elections. The Centre also trained and deployed 39 observers in all Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state to give on-the-spot reports and facts on events on the field.
As early as 7:00 am, the observers were stationed at their different polling units throughout the 30 LGAs to observe the accreditation and voting process and monitor the results counting process down to the announcement of election results.
According to observers, the Independent National Electoral Commission was prompt in deploying officials and materials to polling units across the states. By 7:30 am, CJID observers reported that INEC officials had arrived at over 70% of the polling units. However, the early arrival of INEC officials and election materials did not translate to the timely opening of polling units. At mid-day, only 40% of the Polling Units (PUs) observed started on time, while 58.9% of the PUs opened late.
Our observers reported the deployment of BVAS tools to all polling units observed. However, there were reported incidences of limited BVAS and non-functionality at some polling units observed. Some of these incidences were reported in PU 013 Ward 10 Egbedore LGA, PU 006 Ward 04, Iwo LGA, PU 002 Ward 07, and Oke Adan LGA, just to name a few.
There has been reasonable compliance with Section 25 of the INEC guideline on priority voting. Priority voting was given to elderly voters, pregnant women, the sick and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in LGAs observed. However, there were still incidences of voters who did not have adequate assistance, especially those with a physical disability. In Polling Units 1& 2 of Ward 3&4 of Atakumosa, voters using walking sticks could not access critical areas of the facility because of high ramps and stairs. More attention should be paid to the news of Pwds to fulfil the duty foisted on INEC by s. 54 of the Electoral Act of 2022.
Incidences of vote trading were reported in PU 010, Ward 03, Ife East, PU 01, Ward 04, and Iwo LGA as party agents were seen taking down the names of voters who had agreed to sell their votes for a particular amount. Similarly, more cases of voted trading were reported in PU 02, Ward 06, Iwokan LGA, PU 003, Ward 03, Ife South LGA, and PU 003, Ward 07, and Ife North LGA as voters were openly offering to sell their votes.
The CJID EAC has also received reports of missing names of registered voters on the BVAS. These voters were prevented from voting despite having their permanent voters’ cards. Also observed were pockets of violence in some polling units arising from malfunctioning BVAS and complaints of the slow voting process.
Other reported incidences of violence resulting from thuggery were observed at PU 002, Ward 07 in Orolu LGA, and PU 005, Ward 05, Iwo LGA, where some suspected thugs clashed with security agencies.
Finally, low adherence to the COVID-19 guideline has been recorded. We implore everyone to observe the COVID-19 protocols as the safety of citizens is a foremost concern. In exercising your franchise, we want to remind you that it is better to be safe than sorry.
We stand in solidarity with all actors, voters and observers and wish everyone a peaceful and fruitful election day.
The Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID)
International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)
Daily Trust Newspaper