Vote Buying To Jeopardise 2023 General Elections In Nigeria – INEC
The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that vote buying is a dimension to jeopardise the process of credible elections in the country.
The INEC Commissioner representing Niger, Kogi and Kwara State in North Central Nigeria, Professor Mohammed Sani Adam, stated this on Tuesday in Minna, Niger State Capital during a brief visit to monitor the ongoing Voter Registration in the State.
Prof. Adam who described vote buying as a National issue and a sociological problem, stated categorically that “there is a limit to what INEC as a body can do in terms of curtailing vote buying during elections in Nigeria.
“There are the anti-corruption agencies like the EFCC and the EFCC, including other Security apparatus basically saddled with the responsibility of monitoring criminal activities, ours is to conduct elections, but not to monitor criminals “, he stated.
Prof. Adam however declared that “INEC has nothing to do as far as vote buying is concerned, what the national electoral body can only do is to ensure that the polls are free, fair, and all-encompassing, and also to ensure that polling units are secured, while materials and the process of the polling units are fully observed according to electoral act”.
The INEC Commissioner representing the North Central States of Niger, Kwara and Kogi, who also cautioned religious and traditional leaders across the country on the need to advise their subjects to desist from selling their votes during elections, however, advised politicians in the country to always form the habits of accepting defeat during elections.
“The problem with most politicians in Nigeria is that they don’t always look at political offices as service to the Fatherland, but as a means of selfish aggrandisement or acquiring I’ll- gotten wealth as the only business of the day, and that necessitated winning elections by all means”.
Prof. Adam who congratulated the INEC resident Commissioner for Niger State, Professor Samuel Egwu, for his being renominated as the Resident Electoral Commissioner, commended him for his commitment to meeting up with INEC’s dateline on the Voter Registration exercise and other activities of the Commission in the State.
INEC, according to Prof. Adam, has released more funds to enhance service delivery on its activities across the country and to meet up with the 31st July 2022 dateline of closing the voter registration across the country.
” I don’t expect we are going to have any hitch as far as the continued voter registration is concerned, although we cannot ‘get a 100percent on the PVCs registration and collection as planned, we can only deal with those who have come forward to register and to collect their PVCs as well.
“The policy of the Commission now is to make sure that each and everyone that registered to get their PVCs not through distributions but through collections, we are not encouraging any mass distributions’, he said.
Prof. Sani Adam who commended the efforts of the people in Niger State on the massive turning out for the voter’s registration exercise despite heavy downpours said the Commission has created a special scheme in making sure that all IDPs across the country are captured for the forthcoming general elections in the country.