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Vote buying, dangerous to Nigeria’s democracy – SING Nigeria



Sustainable Initiative

One non-governmental organization (NGO), the Sustainable Initiative to Encourage Growth (SING), Nigeria, has said that incidents of parties buying votes are capable of destroying the country’s democracy if not nipped in the bud.

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Victor Agi

A statement issued on Saturday quoted Mr. Victor Agi, Communications Manager for SING Nigeria, as saying this at an event organized by the National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, to inform accredited observers of the concluded election for governor of Anambra. .

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Agi said stakeholders must step up the campaign to end monetary policy, a process adopted to hijack the democratic process.

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“The normalization of vote buying is concerning and should be addressed immediately.

“There was open support for the buying and selling of votes during the election; There was no resistance from the relevant authorities, including INEC and the security officials who also saw these incidents occur.

“As an organization, we are passionate about addressing the cost of politics and letting money determine the outcome of our elections.

“Politicians will continue to arm poverty to win elections if the stakeholders do not take decisive action to end monetary policy,” Agi said.

SING Nigeria Communication Manager

The SING Nigeria Communication Manager also expressed concern about the continued low voter turnout relative to the cost of the elections.

He said; “We are concerned that INEC made preparations for more than 2.4 million voters in the recently concluded elections, for example, and ended up using approximately 10.4 percent of the electoral materials; what happens to the ballot papers that were not used. “

He also drew attention to indications that the spending limit of political parties during elections has been increased in the electoral bill now before the president for approval.

Agi noted that accommodating more spending in the electoral bill would lead to more incidents of buying and selling votes in future elections.

Kunle Ajayi

While addressing the previous session, Professor Kunle Ajayi, Commissioner / President of INEC, Election and Party Monitoring Committee (EPMC), said that the briefing was expected to deepen understanding of what is expected of accredited observers. .

Civil Society Organizations

In their various reports, the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) were very unfavorable to the problems of the late arrival of electoral materials at the voting centers (poor organization of logistics), the failures of the Accreditation Systems of Bimodal Voters (BVAS), security management and poor coordination between INEC and observers. .

Memorandum of Understanding

The session recommended that INEC should review and strengthen its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to address the logistics challenge, and that INEC should train personnel for effective deployment of BVAS in the future. elections.

The information session provided an opportunity for stakeholders, especially CSOs, to share their experiences and discuss the findings of the field observation.

It also gave them the opportunity to discuss with INEC how participation in electoral observation can sustain and add value to the nation’s democracy.

It was also to clarify gray areas for future revision of the observation guidelines and to provide a common understanding on the way forward.

Source: NAN

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