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Vote buying, party primaries now our major concerns –INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appraised its performance in last month’s Ekiti governorship election, and said its major concern now is vote buying.

 

The commission also noted that conduct of party primaries for the nomination of candidates for the main election “is one of the most litigated in the world.”

 

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at a special Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) meeting to review security arrangement for the Osun State governorship election, said the commission has received 216 requests for Certified True Copies (CTCs) of documents arising from the recent party congresses, primaries and nomination of candidates.

 

Yakubu, who said the requests were being attended to “expeditiously”, regretted that “there are now far more cases challenging the breach of internal democracy within political parties than those involving the conduct of the main elections by INEC.”

 

He assured Nigerians that the commission would continue to work round the clock, including the weekends, to ensure that it attended to all applications received at its headquarters promptly.

 

The INEC Chairman noted that the conduct of Ekiti governorship was acclaimed as successful but stated that vote buying was still a tar to be contend with, in the nation’s electoral system.

 

According to him: “Security was well-coordinated. The election was peaceful. Personnel and materials were deployed promptly. Election day processes commenced as scheduled. Election technology functioned optimally.

 

Results were transmitted from the polling units and collated at the various collation centres in record time.” He, however, said that vote buying was a major concern to the commission.

 

Yakubu appreciated the role played by the anticorruption and security agencies in apprehending some of the perpetrators, stating that the commission would collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure the prosecution of persons arrested in the Ekiti governorship election.

 

“Action will commence as soon as the EFCC completes its investigation. I appeal to all security agencies to continue to join hands with the Commission to tackle this menace,” he added. National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj-Gen. Babagana Munguno, admitted that INEC is “undergoing tremendous transformation through re-calibration of the electoral process in the areas of voter’s registration/voter education, screening of voters at the polling units (using BVAS), as well as election result collection and transmission.”

 

The NSA, who was represented by Sanusi Galadima, a director in his office, commended the performance of the commission, as well security agencies during the election. He, however, called for enlightenment campaign to encourage voters to come out and cast their vote in this month’s Osun governorship.

 

“This is because of the low turnout recorded during the election compared to the total number of registered voters in the State. “The NSA also urged ICCES members to build on the successes recorded from the Ekiti election as some disgruntled politicians may attempt to sabotage the process for their selfish gains, through vote buying and other forms of voter inducement as well as political thuggery.

 

“He also commended the INEC for the extension of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise which hitherto had officially stopped on the 30th June, 2022; a development which he said would enable eligible voters obtain their voters card,” he added.

 

 

 

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