By Angela Atabo
#TrackNigeria: The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on Friday called the attention of security agencies to nine `battleground states’ in the country to tackle ahead of the March 9 elections.
Dr Joe Abbah, member of the CDD, Election Analysis Centre (EAC) at a news conference on the group’s pre-election report in Abuja listed the states as Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Imo, Adamawa, Ogun, Plateau, Bauchi and Sokoto.
According to Abah, Saturday’s elections are important because governors are about the most strategic positions in governance and whoever emerges winner often has a direct bearing on good governance and improved or worsened security.
He said that during the last elections, one of the challenges encountered was thuggery orchestrated by some of the governors.
He said that there was a strong possibility that some of them would be tempted to use the vast resources at their disposal to affect electoral outcomes.
“Our hope is that citizens have closely monitored and assessed the performance of their governors and are ready to sanction bad governors,’’ he said.
Abah said that in Lagos State, the EAC believed that the contest would be a highly competitive one between the two major parties so issues such as the denial of a second term to the current state Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode would shape the outcome of the polls in the state.
He said that it would be a contest cast in terms of capturing the ethnic voting banks controlled by the two major ethnic groups in the state – the Yoruba and Igbo.
He said the EAC noted that the two states of Kano and Imo, where 29 and 65 candidates respectively were jostling for the governorship post presented peculiar cases.
Abah said that in Kaduna and the other states, the governorship position was hanging, adding that there was need for security agencies to be at alert to avoid cases of violence in those states.
He said that in its effort to monitor and provide factual analysis and updates on the Saturday polls, the CDD’s EAC was collaborating with the media to deploy about 100 journalists to monitor the elections in states.
He said that this would help to expose irregularities and provide timely updates on the Election Day and later during the collation of results. (NAN)