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2023 Election Headline National News Nigeria

INEC seek stakeholders support to ensure credible election

As measure to root out vote trading, achieve free, fair, credible and acceptable 2023 elections in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has sought the support of critical stakeholders including the academia, Civil Society Organization and the media.

This was the focus of the roundtable organized by The Electoral Institute, the research and documentation unit of INEC which took place in Osogbo, the Osun State Capital.

The roundtable which was on the incidence of vote buying and trading in Ekiti and Osun Governorship Elections; implications for Democratic consolidation and 2023 general elections in Nigeria suggested the need for Political will to enforce laws guiding elections.

Presenting the lead paper, former Executive Director of Civil Liberty Organization, CLO, Mrs Ayo Obe pointed out that the problem was capable of derailing the country’s democracy if it was not properly nip in the bud.

Mrs Obe said it was important for all agencies saddled with the responsibility to enforce the Law.

The human rights activist also said that it behoved people who did not want to sell their votes to come out during elections to outnumber those who wish to sell their votes.

Corroborating this position, one of the participants and a civil society activist, Mr Bukola Idowu berated poor handling of the criminal aspects of the Electoral Law since the return to Democratic governance, describing such as one of the major factors for the emergence of various unlawful means by politicians to circumvent the process.

Mr Idowu explained that the problem should not be discussed only during election, but rather it should start with primary of Political parties, most especially the major parties.

He suggested that the emoluments attached to political offices was encouraging unhealthy competition manifesting in vote trading

The Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Professor Abdulganiy Raji who delivered the address argued that selling and buying of votes should only be interms of performance of Political gladiators and willingness of the people to re-elect them based on the fulfilment of their promises.

In a welcoming address, the Director General of The Electoral Institute, Dr Sa’ad Umar Idris charged Nigerians of good conscience not to give up and submit to vote buying/trading as an insurmountable challenge.

Reporting by Adenitan Akinola, Editing by Omotola Oguneye