The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday said it will continue to work with relevant agencies in the country towards ensuring that vote-buying and inducement to voters during elections are reduced to the barest minimum.
Speaking on the incident of vote buying that was witnessed in some polling units during last weekend’s governorship election in Ekiti, Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said it was heartwarming to see security agents, especially men of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) apprehending some of the perpetrators.
Oyekanmi who said the proactive steps taken by the commission has greatly helped in curbing the menace howrver denied the claim that vote buying was rampant during the Ekiti election, saying it only took place in few polling units out of the entire 2,445 polling units across the state.
He said “I don’t agree with the notion that vote buying was “very rampant” during the just concluded Ekiti Governorship Election. There are 2445 polling units across the 16 local governments in the state. How many of them witnessed vote buying?”
“However, some vote buying and selling did take place. The Commission took some proactive measures against vote buying in the past, which included banning the use cell phones or photographic equipment in the polling booths, reconfiguring the booths and changing the position of the ballot boxes”.
“In addition, the Commission invited the EFCC and the ICPC to join the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES). It was heartwarming to see some EFCC and Civil Defence officers move against voter buyers during the election”.
“The Commission will continue to do the needful to curb the Vice”.