Bayelsa Election And Arms Proliferation, Hate Speech, Illegal Immigrants

A report published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has indicted the electoral umpire with a 95.2 per cent respondent feedback on the tendency of INEC corrupt officials compromising the November 16 governorship election.

Second in the list is political interference in the electoral process put at 94.2 per cent followed by strong political opposition – 93.6 per cent while the least in the ranking is Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) influence pegged at 37.8 per cent.

The study was drawn from the Election Violence Mitigation and Advocacy Tool (EMVAT) of the electoral body as the gubernatorial poll is scheduled to hold the same day in Bayelsa and Kogi States.

The Election Security Threat System (ESTA) identifies election risk factors in the Bayelsa governorship Poll with the essence of recognising early warning signals that could assist stakeholders deploy needed responses.

“…study identified a number of election risk factors which, in their order of rating by the respondents, include: (a) corruption among INEC officials (95.2 per cent); (b) political interference in the work of INEC (94.2 per cent),” the report states.

“(c) the presence of strong opposition (93.6 per cent); (d) inadequate training and conduct of party agents (91.3%); (e) adherence to process and procedures (90.4 per cent); (f) proliferation of small arms and light weapons (89.8 per cent); (g) inadequate training and conduct of security agents (88.2 per cent); and i) abuse of power of incumbency (88.2 per cent).

“Others include exclusion and discrimination against the youth (85.3 per cent); INEC’s information management (81.3per cent), confused electoral laws (79.9 per cent); exclusion and discrimination against the elderly (76.9per cent); widespread availability and use of hard drugs (76.2per cent); the activities of troublesome politicians, political parties, leaders and candidates (74.6 per cent), the participation of illegal immigrants in the election (74.3 per cent); and the use of hate speech (71.8 per cent).”

According to INEC, data for the study were collected using the EMVAT to elicit information from 408 members of the general public and experts across the state.

“Analyses were analyzed descriptively and interpretatively using tables, frequency distribution, and simple percentages.”

In terms of insecurity, it identified the roles of security operatives and religious extremists as major groups whose actions or inactions could pose a major threat to the electorate.

However, in Kogi State, the study, conducted on 928 respondents revealed the likelihood of political exclusion of the youths which might lead to electoral violence.

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