The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has urged the electorate to avoid financial inducement that will hinder them from voting the right Candidate in next year’s general election.
INEC Chairman Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, stated this on Monday in Abuja, during a one day stakeholders summit tagged; addressing the influence of money in the 2023 general election.
Professor Yakubu, explained that vote trading destroys the very basis of democratic elections and the right of citizens to freely choose credible leadership.
He went further to state that It renders the emergence of the right candidates for positions extremely difficult, undermines fair electoral adjudication, and destroys the professional and independent conduct of INEC officials and other public agencies involved in elections.
“Over the years, the Commission introduced a number of measures, including the slight reconfiguration of the Polling Units to bring the ballot boxes closer to the voting cubicles to discourage the exposure of the marked ballot papers by voters to vote buyers”.
“Also the Commission banned the use of smart phones and photographic devices by voters in the voting cubicles,Yet, these measures have recorded limited success”.
The INEC boss said the summit was aimed at mobiliszing every relevant national institution to support it’s effort, calling on citizens to report cases of financial inducement to INEC and other agencies.
In a remark, the Director General, Nigeria Finance Intelligence Unit, NFIU, Alhaji Moddibo Tukur, promised to assist INEC in curbing vote buying by activating their flagging system around all the candidates and their associates.
He also pledged to activate the early warning system and strengthen the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria towards reducing the menace.
The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye said they would monitor the compliance of political parties and politicians on the provisions of 2022 electoral act as amended regarding camping financing.
Present at the event was the Director General, Advertising Regulatory Agency of Nigeria, Inspector General of Police, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, amongs others.