The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has described votes buying as “cancer” to Nigeria’s electoral process.
Yakubu stated this on Thursday at the presentation of certificates to 21 out of the 23 newly registered political parties in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
“Votes buying is cancer to our elections that we must work together collectively to stamp out,” he said.
According to the INEC boss, the commission is deeply worried about a situation whereby political agents woo voters with cash during elections; a development local observers said characterised the Ekiti Governorship polls on July 14.
In view of its negative effect of vote buying on the electoral process, Professor Yakubu said he was committed to curbing it.
He vowed that INEC would not tolerate vote buying in the forthcoming Osun State governorship exercise slated for September 22, 2018.
In doing this, the electoral umpire will collaborate with security agencies in identifying, arresting and prosecuting both givers and receivers of cash inducement in the election.
He said, “On the part of the commission, starting with the Osun State governorship election coming up on September 22. We will change the way our polling units are administered such that there will be no room for voters to expose their marked ballot papers between the voting cubicles and the ballot boxes.
“We shall further strategise with the security agencies for a more robust response to the arrest and prosecution of vote buyers. We will also engage with all well-meaning groups for more effective voter education and voter sensitisation.”