Kimpact Development Initiative, KDI, has raised concerns about voters’ inducement which has become the order of the day during elections in Nigeria.
Bukola Idowu, Executive Director, KDI in a press statement issued at the end of the Ondo gubernatorial elections noted that vote trading is gradually destroying Nigeria’s democracy.
“The impunity displayed by vote traders at the polls is highly worrisome.
“Vote trading is gradually destroying the nation’s democracy, as the highest bidder gets the highest votes.
Idowu explained that the report received by the Nigeria Electoral Violence Report (NEVR) Observers, revealed that vote buying occurred in all the Local Government across the state.
“Vote-buying and inducement cut across all the 18 Local Government Areas of the state. Vote buying took place with so much impunity.
“Party agents employed all forms of tactics to buy votes, ranging from paying cash (2000-7000) to distributing food items such as snacks and drinks, garri and noodles.
“It was also recorded that this act has degenerated to the point where vote buyers have payment voucher. This shows that all strategies have been preplanned and perfected. We at this must condemn this because it is not healthy for our democracy,” he added.
KDI thereafter recommended that, “there is a need for INEC to conduct elections in such a way that vote buying will stop being lucrative. Voting should be made secret that the voters are not able to show their ballot papers to the vote buyers or in such a way that ‘would be buyers’ are not able to determine who was voted for by the ‘would be seller’.”
Kimpact noted that, as at the time of the issuing the press statement, it has not received any information on the arrest of vote traders.
“As at this time, we have not received report of any arrest of vote buyers and sellers. This shows the negligence of the security personnel to vote buying who is already a monster in our electoral process.
“However, eyewitness accounts in some of the polling units covered showed that the security agents defused a good number of volatile situations, from stopping the lynching of those suspected of vote buying, disbanding party faithful clashes to practically ensuring a peaceful election.”