Any questions ?

Phone 202 303 405

Ondo State Elections

On Saturday the 10th of October, 2020, the people of Ondo State turned out across the various polling units and wards to cast their votes in electing a governor for the State

The Women Situation Room Nigeria (WSRN) which is a network of women focused organizations/ groups/ coalitions working on promoting the peace and stability of Nigeria and committed to the women peace and security agenda as a framework for women’s participation in peace and security processes having collaborated with the Center for Democracy and Development, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Women in Politics Forum, had women observers in 11 LGAs of the state to observe the election from a gendered perspective.

Prior to the gubernatorial election, there were reports of violent clashes between rivals of political parties, also reports of attack on some female party supporters in a local government (Oba—Akoko). This made many to assume the election would be violent and there would be voter’s apathy especially with women. Following the violent happenings, a peace agreement was signed in the state by candidates of the political parties and a deployment of more police officers to the State to ensure a peaceful election process.

From our observers in the 11 LGAs and our roving team, it was identified that the election was relatively peaceful compared to the predictions received before the election.   There was also high turnout of voters both male and female at the polling units although in some units we had reports from (13.5%) of the observers who stated there was high presence of male voters than women.

Also judging from the statistics we had ahead of the elections, we had a higher total number of registered male voters – (925,891) 50.8% compared to the female voters (896.455) 49.2%. We observed an early turnout of voters across most of the polling units and despite the early morning rain as witnessed in some LGAs( Owo and Akure) the voters were not perturbed but patiently waited for the rain to subside and voting to commence.

Gender Analysis of the Ondo State Gubernatorial Election

From the reports received from our women observers in the field, using a gender lens to analyze these reports, the proportion of voters who turned out for the voting process showed a higher number of male to the female in most of the LGAs covered by our observers. We had (13.5%) observers who reported higher number of male to female voters, (3.5%) observers reported higher number of female to the male and 4 out of the (2%) reporters reported equal number between both genders. Although compared to the last election in Edo state we see a high turnout of women voters. Also the proportion of security personnel, INEC officials, observers and party members all showed a higher proportion of men to women. Comparing previous elections this last election we had women representatives a party agent’s member which wasn’t the case with Edo state. It was also identified that women did not take active substantive roles during the process.

Analysis on the security personnelMonitors Present

From our analysis, we observed there was still a higher male representation but comparing to the last elections of Edo state we saw a higher representation by women.

Data of observers/monitors present during the election

Higher number of male to female- (13.5%)

Higher number of female to male -4- 0.84 %

Equal representative from both genders – 2- 0.42 %

All female- 5- 1.06 %

Party officials disaggregated data

Male to female- 5- 1.06%

Equal representation-3-0.63%

No female at all- 13-2.73%

Violence against women during the election

We applaud the security personnel’s and INEC for this election as we had zero record of violence against women during the elections which is in contrast to Edo election where we recorded about 5 cases of violence against women during the states gubernatorial election at some polling units.



We commend the INEC for the system put in place for the collation of election results at polling units, result viewing portal in improving transparency and accountability of the collation and declaration of results However, there were reports of late arrival of INEC staff and sensitive materials for voting which led to late commencement of election. Also there was the issue of faulty card readers reported from most of the polling units.  Below is the analysis


  1. a) Arrival of INEC officers-

Reports from our observers showed that the INEC team were timely and started the process on time which wasn’t the case with Edo elections.


  1. b) Card reader Malfunction

We had 6 out of our observers complained of faulty card readers but which was handled by the INEC teams swiftly.



This was the order of the day as reports from our observers showed 16 out of the observers (8%) reported on vote buying in their polling units. This has become a trend that is evident in all elections in Nigeria. Several tactics have been developed overtime by party agents in achieving vote buying and this trend needs be looked into in other to achieve credible elections. Our observers reported that the incidents of vote buying were championed by the party agents and some security officers offered support to the party agents in carrying this out. In Ondo East LGA unit 3 ward 3, we had a case between two parties who were involved with vote buying while the security officer in the unit assisted them by standing by the cubicle to direct voters who to vote for after which they are given the sum of 4,000 naira. In Ondo West LGA we witnessed this among three parties in the unit. In Ifedore LGA, a police woman was asked to leave the polling units as the party agents noticed that she was campaigning and influencing voter’s choice of party. This caused a rancor which disrupted electoral activities close to an hour before it was handled by other security personnel. In Ose LGA and Akure North East LGA we had reports of vote buying and campaigning by party agents and security officers which raised a stir among the party agents present.



From reports from our observers on the field they recorded poor compliance of COVID-19 protocol from both the INEC officials, security personnel and the electorates. From our reports 4.41% stated the INEC officials came in with temperature checker, face masks and hand sanitizer although 18 (9% ) out of the observers from the LGAs covered reported that the COVID-19 materials were not used by both the INEC officials, security officers and electorates. While we had 3 (3%) out of our observers reported the INEC officials observed the COVID-19 protocols but the electorates were not in compliance with the officials in keeping to COVID-19 protocols. In terms of social distancing this wasn’t practiced in all LGAs our observers observed. INEC officials, security and electorates were all clustered together not maintaining any form of distance.



The major challenge encountered was the issues with fault card readers which caused an uproar in some units although which was immediately handled. Another was the issue of votes buying. This was in almost every unit during the elections and caused issues. One of which was how others were trying to stop a police woman from carrying out her duties as they felt she had been bribed to support another party. This caused a stir and voting put on hold for some minutes before the situation was calmed.



Overall the performance of the exercise was commendable. The turnout for the election was impressive, with little or no form of violence recorded in some wards and LGAs. We also commend INEC on the system adopted in the collation of results at the units. However, other areas can still be looked into for improvement. We could see some administrative improvement on the part of INEC compared to the last Kogi elections conducted. But on the gender perspective, in as much that there are a bit of progress it is believed that more can still be done in the representation of women amongst the INEC staff, party agents and security personnel’s. These are the ways through which women get involved in electoral process.



Despite the existence of constitutional provisions and progressive laws, policy frameworks, conventions and protocols to protect or promote gender equality, religious and cultural practices,

INEC should;

• Play a greater role in providing guidelines to political parties to ensure compliance with the gender policy developed in 2014 to ensure representation of women in electoral activities

• The INEC should also develop clear regulations around the conduct of party primaries. These should cohere with the gender quota, fair representation of PWDs, and free and fair elections.

• INEC should caution security officers deployed in the field to refrain from intimidating observers and journalist as the results collation commences.

• Also ensure security personnel remain professional and non-partisan throughout the election.

• Prohibit under penalty public agencies including the police and security agencies under the Executive that are involved in elections from being used for partisan political purposes to undermine free and fair elections.

• To enact a law that ensures women as party agent are represented at polling unit not just the men

• Establish an electoral offence commission in handling cases of violence against women during elections

• Considering COVID-19, we recommend that INEC concentrate on the duo of implementing her protocol on conducting elections during COVID-19 and improved voter education program this should be considered ahead of Anambra 2021 elections and others.