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Osun 2022 : Desperation of Contending Political Actors Could Threaten Integrity of Election

Yiaga Africa’s Watching The Vote Fourth Osun Pre-Election Observation Report

In the weeks leading to the 16 July 2022 governorship election in Osun state, the major political parties have intensified their campaigns deploying both legal and illegal antics in an attempt to win the race to the Government house. The Osun election is however beyond the contest for the office of the Governor as the political parties compete tough in a last-ditch effort to gain a strong impetus going  into the crucial 2023 general elections.

With barely 10 days to the Osun Governorship election, the political and security atmosphere has remained tensely unpredictable with the security agency describing every Local Government Area as a potential flashpoint. Yiaga Africa’s pre-election findings from April 22 to June 30, 2022 revealed the activities of cultists and political thugs in some local government areas (LGA) as capable of threatening the peaceful and credible conduct of the election, if not contained. In addition to this threat, there are also attempts by some political mercenaries to manipulate the process right from the pre-election stage.

Despite the foregoing, the preparation for the Osun governorship election has seen a religious implementation of the electoral timeline by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). As observed, the training of AdHoc staff is ongoing, and the non-sensitive materials are deployed and catalogued in the INEC LGA offices. Also, the collection of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) is currently happening in the INEC LGA offices and voter education

activities are being conducted by INEC and different stakeholders to ensure informed citizens' participation. The Commission also conducted a mock accreditation to access the BVAS in some LGAs ahead of the election. In addition, the Pre-election environment has been characterized by defections, alignment and realignment as part of an effort by political parties and candidates to gain political favour going into the election and with the 2023 polls in calculations.

These Pre-Election Observation Report (PREO) findings are based on reports received from the Watching the Vote Long term observers LTOs) deployed in each of the 30 LGAs in Osun state. The report covers the period from June 17 to 30, 2022.

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Yiaga Africa is a non-profit civic hub of change makers committed to the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and civic engagement. With its operational base in Abuja, Nigeria, Yiaga Africa focuses on in-depth research, providing critical analysis on key democratic and governance issues, crafting practical solutions, training and empowering citizens to lead change in their community. Yiaga Africa implements several innovative programs aimed at stimulating active citizenship, protecting human rights and deepening democratic governance. We invest in building networks and social movements to drive social change and transformation. Yiaga Africa has leadership structures and members in all 36 states and 774 Local Government Areas (LGA) of Nigeria.