The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday warned candidates contesting in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State that it would not allow the exchange of votes for cash.
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who gave the warning in Ado Ekiti at a stakeholders meeting, said the commission was working with law enforcement agents to prevent vote buying during the poll.
Yakubu was represented by INEC national chairman in charge of Oyo Ekiti, Osunand Ondo states, Mr Solomon Soyebi.
“The elections in Edo, Ondo and Anambra states were largely monetised. We are aware of this. It was see and buy, but we promise you, it won’t happen in Ekiti,’’ he said.
He said INEC had conducted a total of 286 polls since 2015, adding that only 28 were nullified, due to parties’ poor internal democracy.
“It was N5,000 per vote in Ondo and Anambra states. We are working with security agencies not to allow it to happen again. We even seized some cash in Anambra State.
“In Ekiti election, we won’t allow any vehicle to come near the polling units because the politicians used to keep the money in the booth. With this, it will reduce because politicians can’t carry large amount in their pockets,’’ he said.
The chairman gave assurance that INEC would be neutral in the election, urging the stakeholders to work hard to mobilise the people for the continuous voter’s registration exercise and also claim the over 200,000 Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) that were still with the commission.
The commissioner of Police, Mr Abdullahi Chafe, said the force had mapped out strategies to stop electoral malfeasance by ensuring that a minimum of four policemen are stationed in a polling unit.
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