The chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmud Yakubu yesterday said the menace of vote buying is a sickening episode.
Yakubu stated this at a round table discussion on the incidence of vote- buying / vote trading: Implication for 2019 General Elections and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria, organized by The Electoral Institute.
Yakubu who was represented by a national Commissioner and member, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mohammed Haruna Said even though their must be a buyer and a seller, the commission will continue to interrogate issues around vote buying for a prompt solution.
“Vote buying is sickening episode,” Yakubu said adding that after an uninterrupted democracy in the country, some elements have found ways to manipulate the electorates.
“Some recent developments in Anambra, Osun and Ekiti States election is worrying,” the INEC chairman said, adding,
“INEC frown at this and will not allow this to continue, “Yakubu said, the commission will continue to conduct free and fair elections in line with the best international practices.
While urging politicians to play the game by its rules, Yakubu said: “We must find ways and means of curbing vote buying.”
The Board of Trustees (BOT) chairman of the electoral institute, Prince Adedeji Soyemi said the introduction of the smart card reader puts an end to the old days of election rigging which pushed politicians to resort to vote buying.
The acting Director General (DG) of The Electoral Institute, an INEC establishment that deals with research and documentation, Dr Sa’ad Umar Idris the round table organised to build a strong electoral process and encourage free and fair elections.
“If nobody is buying the votes, nobody will sell. Vote buying is inimical to democracy,” Sa’ad said adding that the round table will help them to consolidate on the February 2019 general elections.
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