Corruption and UnderdevelopmentPolitics

Vote buying in Osun coded, unlike Ekiti – CSO claims

By Paul Michael

The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, which is made up of 70 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), has said that negotiations of vote buying and selling during the just concluded Osun State governorship election were done in a more discreet manner unlike what was observed in Ekiti State.

In a statement signed by its convener, Ene Obi, in Abuja, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room lamented that vote buying and selling has become a key feature of elections and should get all Nigerians worried.

According to Obi, during the Osun gubernatorial election, coded communication and coupons were used to extract commitments from voters against the blatant money exchanging hands observed in the Ekiti State governorship election. The Trumpet Gathered

“Situation Room received reports of blatant vote buying by political party agents in 32.6 per cent of the polling units observed. Where this happened there were open negotiations of buying and selling of votes and well-coordinated by the polling agents.

“Electoral corruption poses a serious threat to holding leaders accountable and has consequences for governance responsive to the needs of the people,” the statement said.

The Situation Room also regretted the alleged violence that led to the death of Hon Jide Jooba, a PDP officer who was murdered by political party thugs in Ikire L.G.A.

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“We call on the security agencies to investigate and prosecute those involved in this act in line with Section 92 of the Electoral Act 2022 no matter how highly placed to serve as a deterrent for any future similar occurrence.

“Situation Room notes that the conduct of Osun State Governorship election 2022 shows a marked improvement in INEC’s election administration. INEC’s deployment of materials and personnel, early commencement of polls, and quick upload of election results on the INEC IReV portal are particularly commended.

“There was also a remarkable improvement in the functionality of the BVAS compared to the recently conducted elections in Anambra State, the F.C.T Area Council elections, and the Ekiti State Governorship election,” the statement further added.

The Situation Room said there is still a lot of work to be done ahead of the 2023 general elections, as elections will hold nationwide in 36 States and the FCT at the same time.

It, however, commended the good people of Osun State for coming out to vote and conducting themselves peacefully, despite the apprehension that preceded the election due to the rhetorics of the political class.

“Situation Room commends the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the noticeable improvement in the conduct of the elections.

“However, we call on INEC to improve on the siting of polling units and revisit its expansion of polling units exercise, ad-hoc staff will need to be trained and retrained on election procedures,” it added.

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