Osun Governorship Election: It Is Not Our Duty to Stop Vote Buying – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that it is not its responsibility to prevent vote buying ahead of the governorship election in Osun state on Saturday, July 16.
Speaking on Channels Television on Thursday evening, June 14, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Osun State, Prof Abdulganiy Raji, reacted to reports of vote-buying and selling during the Ekiti governorship election last month, noting that while the act is a criminal offense, INEC is not a security agency capable of making arrests.
“As far as vote-buying is concerned, let me tell you that INEC can not prevent vote-buying. We can only make efforts to ensure that people are discouraged from doing it through voter education and sensitisation which we have been doing extensively.
“Vote-buying and selling is a criminal offence and INEC is not a security agency that can actually make arrests. We can only inform the security agents when it [vote-buying] is taking place. Then, they (the perpetrators) will be arrested and prosecution will take place where we will be joined.
“I am always surprised when people are talking about vote-buying and selling and they expect INEC to be able to stop it, an act that has nothing to do with the mandate of the management of an election.
“The people that are involved in vote-buying and selling are actually those that should be addressed.”
Raji also stated that INEC would collaborate with other key players to combat vote-buying in Nigerian elections.
In addition to stating that INEC has created a new design for poll booths to avoid election cheating, he stated that voters who fail to fold their ballot papers after thumb printing will be arrested by security personnel.
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