As Nigeria’s general elections the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has outlined three ways it would use to clam down on vote-buying from politicians.
The electoral body had brought to notice the latest method adopted by politicians to sabotage the voting process.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman made the statement during the unveiling of the Voter Register on Monday in Abuja to political parties as the general elections closes in.
He said the commision was fully aware that some political actors were in the hunt to buy Permanent Voter cards (PVC) and Voter Identification Numbers on PVC or by offering financial gains to people.
“In some instances, telephone numbers and details of bank accounts of voters have been collected. By collecting the PVCs, their intention may be to deprive the voters of voting, since no one can vote without the PVC.
“By collecting their phone numbers and bank details, the intention is to induce voters by electronic transfer of funds to their accounts since it will be difficult to buy votes at polling units.
“By collecting the VINs, they may be acting on the mistaken notion that our system can be hacked into and the Card Readers somehow preloaded ahead of election and compromised.
“We want to reassure Nigerians that we are aware of the new tricks. It is a futile effort.
“We will work with the security agencies to deal with the violators of our electoral laws, including those who may be trying to compromise our staff responsible for making the PVCs available for collection by legitimate voters.’’
Yakubu said INEC was ready to fight vote-buying with three methods by changing the configuration polling units. Ballot boxes would be moved closer to the voting cubicles to make it tougher for voters to expose their marked ballot papers.
“Secondly, we have introduced a partial ban on the use of mobile phone and other photographic devices by voters while in the voting cubicles.
“Thirdly, we are introducing the rolling and flattening of ballot papers by voters before casting them into the ballot boxes.’’
It was disclosed at the meeting that for the final register there were 84,004,084 voters after the register was displayed nationwide at all polling units for claims and objections last year from November 6 – November 12.
“This is the register that will be presented to each political party at today’s meeting. It is also the same register that will be available at each polling unit nationwide on election day.’’
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