With a few days left to the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State, concerns are intensifying about violent clashes among supporters of political parties contesting the election. Two of the main parties in the State, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are most cited in the clashes. The most recent reported incident was on Sunday, October 4, where clashes between supporters of the two main parties led to citizens scampering to safety away from the violence which was characterised by sporadic shooting, with some reportedly injured. The incident took place in Akure, the State capital and was said to be retaliation for an attack on a supporter of one of the parties that took place the previous day. Again, the campaign organisations of the two parties have traded blame over the incident.
In recent weeks, the APC and PDP have exchanged accusations and counter accusations over pockets of violent incidents that have occurred in the process of their campaign activities, including the destruction of the parties’ campaign materials. It would seem that the trepidation that preceded the Edo State governorship election occasioned by threats of violence by candidates, their parties and supporters is now trailing the Ondo State election. Observers lauded election stakeholders for a free and fair election, largely devoid of violence in Edo State, and expressed anticipation for an even better exercise in Ondo State. However, the political environment in the State has begun to raise security concerns.