Monday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it will keep working with other government agencies to make sure that buying votes and other forms of bribing voters are kept to a minimum during elections.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said that it was heartwarming to see security agents, especially men from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), catch some of the people who bought votes in some polling units in Ekiti during the governorship election last weekend.
Oyekanmi said that the proactive steps taken by the commission have helped a lot to stop the problem. However, he denied that buying votes was a big problem in the Ekiti election, saying that it only happened in a few of the 2,445 polling units in the state.
“I don’t agree that buying votes was “very common” in the Ekiti Governorship Election that just took place. In the 16 local governments in the state, there are a total of 2445 polling places. How many of them saw people buying votes?”
“However, some vote buying and selling did take place. In the past, the Commission took steps to stop people from buying votes. These included making it illegal to use cell phones or cameras in the voting booths, rearranging the booths, and moving the ballot boxes.
“The Commission also asked the EFCC and the ICPC to join the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security” (ICCES). It was heartening to see some EFCC and Civil Defence officers go after people who tried to buy votes during the election.
“The Commission will keep doing what needs to be done to stop the vice.”