A group of NGOs and media outlets who deployed several election observers have decried the alarming incidents of vote-buying recorded at various polling units at the ongoing election in Ekiti State.
This was revealed in a statement issued by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) in conjunction with ICIR and other media platforms.
According to observations from their election analysis centre, the number of electoral offences observed at various polling units includes, bargaining prices for votes, payments made in uncompleted buildings and bags of foodstuff being shared after votes have been cast.
What CJID is saying
They noted that party agents have been identified to be at the centre of this electoral offence. They called on citizens of the state not to engage in selling their votes in order to secure their democratic future.
- According to the statement “Party agents have been seen to be at loggerheads with security personnel over their disconcerting proximity to the voting booths.
- “Some have been observed to be taking down names of voters in order to facilitate payments and they were also reportedly forcefully ‘assisting’ voters in a ploy to manipulate them. We would like to remind the public that this is an electoral offence punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment and we call on political parties and INEC to investigate these matters.”
- Commending the efforts of INEC, they said “We applaud the efforts of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in ensuring that materials and personnel were deployed on time. Because of this, we recorded an average Polling Unit (PU) opening time of 8:36 am. Additionally, the elections have been mainly peaceful, despite the fears surrounding specific flashpoints identified in preliminary findings.”
- “Unlike Anambra last year, there have been a few complaints recorded on the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS). Where there were issues with BVAS, however, our observers reported that they were resolved quickly.
- “We have also recorded a high level of adherence to section 54 of the Electoral Act. Observers have recorded priority lines for pregnant women, the aged and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in more than 60% of the PUs observed. However, we have recorded adverse reactions to the separate queues created with complaints of such lines being unfair to others in the general queues.
- “Examples of polling units where elderly persons, pregnant women, and parents with children were deprived of priority voting include PU 003, Ward 09 (Iluomoba) LG in Gbonyin; PU 004, Ward 1, Irepodun Ifelodun LGA; PU: 008 Near Onisa House, Ward 2, Odo Ise, Iṣẹ/Orun,” the statement adds.