The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed to all security agencies to continuously support the commission in the fight against vote buying.
Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu made the appeal at a special meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) held to review security arrangement for the Osun State governorship election.
Yakubu who spoke following the experience of vote buying in the recent Ekiti State governorship election, noted that the menace of vote buying remains a major area of challenge.
He said “vote buying remains a major area of concern. We appreciate the role played by the anti-corruption and security agencies in apprehending some of the perpetrators of this brazen assault on our democracy.
“In particular, we are working with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure the prosecution of persons arrested in the recent Ekiti Governorship election. Action will commence as soon as the EFCC completes its investigation. I appeal to all security agencies to continue to join hands with the Commission to tackle this menace”.
On the Osun State governorship election slated for Saturday 16th July 2022, the INEC Chairman expressed concern over the security situation in the state, saying that there are reports of clashes in some places.
Acknowledging that the state is now calm, Prof. Yakubu assured that the Commission is keeping a close watch on the security situation in the State.
He disclosed that the Commission is deploying a readiness assessment team to Osun State next week to assess its preparations for the elections.
“We will visit some of our Local Government offices in the State, hold meetings with our staff, brief the Council of Traditional rulers to solicit the support of their Royal Majesties for peaceful elections and meet with the security agencies and transporters.
“We will also observe the mock accreditation of voters in some Polling Units across the three Senatorial Districts of the State to test the functionality of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
“A few days to the election, we will return to Osun State to meet with the stakeholders and for the signing of the Peace Accord by political parties and candidates under the auspices of the National Peace Committee” the Chairman said.
For his part, the National Security Adviser, who was represented at the meeting, urged INEC to increase the Voter Education and Enlightenment campaign efforts ahead of the forthcoming Osun State election as well as the 2023 general elections.