Thursday
August, 18

Osun: Security, Vote Buying Our Major Concerns – INEC

Vote buying and security are two of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) top worries ahead of the upcoming governorship election in Osun.

Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of INEC, said arrangements are in motion to ensure a smooth poll in the state while discussing the organization’s readiness for the vote on Saturday.

One of the eight off-cycle governorship elections in Nigeria is scheduled for July 16.

Mr. Yakubu stated that he anticipates accomplishing similar milestones in Osun given the improvement in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System’s (BVAS) performance as well as other technical successes documented during the just finished Ekiti election.

But he voiced worries about vote-buying and security, two significant recurrences that have persisted in undermining Nigeria’s election system.

“Arising from the experience of the recent Ekiti State Governorship election, the Commission is keeping a close watch on the security situation in Osun State. Although it is generally calm at the moment, we are nevertheless concerned about reports of clashes in some places. In one recent example, the collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) was disrupted in Erin Oke and Erin Ijesha Wards of Oriade Local Government Area, resulting in the loss of 46 PVCs.

READ MORE: PDP Hails Obaseki’s Landmark Devt As He Clocks 65

“While the matter is being investigated by the police, the collection of PVCs for the affected Wards is now taking place in the INEC office in Ijebu-Jesha. Meanwhile, the State office has compiled the Voter Identification Numbers (VINs) of the cards and the Commission has already reprinted the PVCs for the affected voters.

”I would like to assure all valid registrants in Osun State that no one will be disenfranchised on account of such an incident. It is futile for anyone to attempt to vote using another person’s PVC. The BVAS biometric accreditation will expose such fraud and persons apprehended will be prosecuted under the law,” the INEC chairman said at a meeting of the inter-agency consultative committee on election security.

Mr Yakubu stated further, “Again, arising from the experience in recent elections, 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,” Mr Yakubu further said.

Sanusi Galadima, a representative of the National Security Adviser (NSA), praised INEC for its success in the Ekiti election but encouraged the commission to go above and above in the next Osun election.

In opposition to the commission’s worries, Mr. Galadima asserted that there were no significant security issues during or during the Ekiti election.

He urged Osun State residents to turn out in large numbers to vote in the governorship election.

“Consequent upon the above, the NSA enjoined INEC, through the Department of voter education/publicity, to redouble efforts ahead of the Osun State guber election and the forthcoming general elections in 2023.

“The NSA also urged ICCES members to build on the successes recorded from the Ekiti election as some disgruntled politicians may attempt to sabotage the process for their selfish gains, through vote buying and other forms of voter inducement as well as political thuggery,” the NSA boss representative noted.

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Adoga Stephen
Adoga Stephen is a trained journalist, researcher, creative writer and freelancer. He studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State University of Science and Technology (then Laspotech) and acquired requisite skills for the practice of journalism, a profession he has been practicing since 2016.

Vote buying and security are two of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) top worries ahead of the upcoming governorship election in Osun.

Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of INEC, said arrangements are in motion to ensure a smooth poll in the state while discussing the organization’s readiness for the vote on Saturday.

One of the eight off-cycle governorship elections in Nigeria is scheduled for July 16.

Mr. Yakubu stated that he anticipates accomplishing similar milestones in Osun given the improvement in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System’s (BVAS) performance as well as other technical successes documented during the just finished Ekiti election.

But he voiced worries about vote-buying and security, two significant recurrences that have persisted in undermining Nigeria’s election system.

“Arising from the experience of the recent Ekiti State Governorship election, the Commission is keeping a close watch on the security situation in Osun State. Although it is generally calm at the moment, we are nevertheless concerned about reports of clashes in some places. In one recent example, the collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) was disrupted in Erin Oke and Erin Ijesha Wards of Oriade Local Government Area, resulting in the loss of 46 PVCs.

READ MORE: PDP Hails Obaseki’s Landmark Devt As He Clocks 65

“While the matter is being investigated by the police, the collection of PVCs for the affected Wards is now taking place in the INEC office in Ijebu-Jesha. Meanwhile, the State office has compiled the Voter Identification Numbers (VINs) of the cards and the Commission has already reprinted the PVCs for the affected voters.

”I would like to assure all valid registrants in Osun State that no one will be disenfranchised on account of such an incident. It is futile for anyone to attempt to vote using another person’s PVC. The BVAS biometric accreditation will expose such fraud and persons apprehended will be prosecuted under the law,” the INEC chairman said at a meeting of the inter-agency consultative committee on election security.

Mr Yakubu stated further, “Again, arising from the experience in recent elections, 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,” Mr Yakubu further said.

Sanusi Galadima, a representative of the National Security Adviser (NSA), praised INEC for its success in the Ekiti election but encouraged the commission to go above and above in the next Osun election.

In opposition to the commission’s worries, Mr. Galadima asserted that there were no significant security issues during or during the Ekiti election.

He urged Osun State residents to turn out in large numbers to vote in the governorship election.

“Consequent upon the above, the NSA enjoined INEC, through the Department of voter education/publicity, to redouble efforts ahead of the Osun State guber election and the forthcoming general elections in 2023.

“The NSA also urged ICCES members to build on the successes recorded from the Ekiti election as some disgruntled politicians may attempt to sabotage the process for their selfish gains, through vote buying and other forms of voter inducement as well as political thuggery,” the NSA boss representative noted.

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