Post Election Analysis: 2020 Ondo State Off-Cycle Governorship Election

On 10 October 2020 voters in Ondo State went to the polls to elect a governor in its off-cycle governorship election. Like the off-cycle governorship election in Edo State on 19 September, the Ondo State election was remarkable for (a) its widely-acclaimed peaceful conduct; (b) the issue-based focus of the campaigns; and (c) the improved and self-confident administration and conduct of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC]. In particular the efficient and timely deployment of election personnel and materials that enabled the substantially hitch-free commencement of the elections and voting process, even in the difficult to access riverine areas of the state. These dimensions of the election in Ondo State are noteworthy when set against the background of the typical hostile environment of competitive party and electoral politics in Nigeria; characterised by intra-party fissures and acrimonious inter-party disputes that are both capable of degenerating into violent conflicts before and on election day. But there remains a great deal of improvement to carry out in the management and conduct of election in the country. This report by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) outlines its key findings from the October vote. It provides an account of CDD’s major findings, derived primarily from field data gathered by CDD researchers and observers deployed across Ondo State ahead of and during the election. It highlights the extent to which INEC, poll officials, voters, security officials and other stakeholders in the political and electoral process complied with provisions of Nigeria’s Constitution, Electoral Law, and related national legislation for the conduct of free and fair election in the country.