Released on 21/01/19
This is the sixth edition of Niger Delta Watch 2019.
This week we focus on incidents of electoral fraud and corruption that have occurred in the four project states since the beginning of project. We discover that the most common type of fraudulent incident relates to bribery, a number of these incidents have involved giving money, particularly to women (which reflects themes in previous election periods), and multiple political parties are involved in such behaviour (including the two main parties: the PDP and APC). The highest number of fraud related incidents have been reported in Southern Ijaw LGA, Bayelsa State.
In Rivers this week, incidents of bribery and billboard destruction were reported. The PDP concluded their campaigning in some LGAs in the State, and the Accord Party carried out peaceful campaigns in Khana and Gokana LGAs. Although it falls outside the reporting period, Rivers State elections took a dramatic turn when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) omitted any APC candidates from the list for the National Assembly elections published on Thursday 17 January. See regional and Rivers notes for detail.
In Bayelsa, candidates of the APC, PDP and Alliance Democratic Party (ADC) continued their visits to State constituencies and districts. INEC commenced distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), recruitment of ad hoc personnel, conduct of trainings, release of guidelines for the Election, and voter education on radio and other public places, e.g. markets, in preparation for the fast approaching February elections. Despite a violent clash between PDP members in Nembe LGA, and attacks on National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members while distributing PVCs in Kolokuma Opokuma, election campaigns in other LGAs were conducted peacefully.
There were similar reports from Delta this week, which also experienced intra-party conflict and election-related violence, as well as peaceful campaigns, particularly from the PDP and APC. An incident of fraud and corruption was reported in Ethiope East. On a positive note, a peace accord was signed by political parties in a bid to ensure peaceful 2019 elections.
In Akwa Ibom, there were reports of vote buying and money distribution involving the PDP and APC. Meanwhile, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan’s campaign billboards were destroyed by opponents in Uyo and Oron LGAs.
On social media, misleading sponsored news was identified as being shared in Rivers, surrounding the Rivers State budget deficit for 2018.
Read the report in full.