An activist has reacted to INEC’s discovery of a new method of vote-buying by parties and their candidates.
Wale Ogunnade, the convener, Voters Awareness Initiative urged Nigerians to report cases of vote-buying or Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) before and during the general elections. He said that Nigerians could contribute to the success of the general election by exposing and reporting incidents of PVC-buying or vote-buying. An activist, Wale Ogunnade, on Thursday, January 10, urged Nigerians to report cases of vote-buying or Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) before and during the forthcoming general elections. Ogunnade, who is the convener, Voters Awareness Initiative, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos while reacting to INEC’s discovery of a novel method of vote-buying by desperate parties and their candidates.
Ogunnade said that Nigerians could contribute to the success of the general election by exposing and reporting incidents of PVC-buying or vote-buying in their communities.
“I urge Nigerians to be on the lookout. When they see vote-buying or PVC-buying happening within their area or if someone approaches them to buy their PVC or induce them with money, they should summon the courage to report."
“They should be whistleblowers by reporting such incidents to the police or nearest INEC office so that the culprits can be arrested and prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others."
“It is good that INEC is discovering these tactics early enough."
“We need awareness campaigns to educate Nigerians and the role they can play to make us have a successful and credible election,” he said.
Ogunnade urged INEC to involve the ordinary Nigerians in the fight against PVC and vote-buying ahead of the general elections. He also urged INEC to engage stakeholders such as the media, civil society, and religious organizations to organize a massive awareness campaign to educate the citizens on the dangers of vote buying and selling of their PVCs and how they can report such occurrence.
“There is a need to start educating Nigerians before the elections, on the dangers of PVC and vote buying and the criminal implications because it is now a criminal offense to buy or to sell votes or PVCs.
“We need to start telling them that if arrested, there are penalties.
“We also need to educate them on the moral implications of vote buying as they are mortgaging their future by indulging in such activities."
“I think that the more people are aware of these implications the more the fear to participate in such acts and the more it will help deter vote-buying before and during the general elections,” he said.
With the increase in the tempo of campaigning, Ogunnade advised candidates and parties to carry out their electioneering responsibly and canvass for votes on the basis of issues and avoid smearing their opponents.
Legit.ng earlier reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday, January 7, raised alarm over a new method of vote buying being devised to undermine the voting process.
INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this in Abuja at the presentation of the voter register for the 2019 general election to political parties.
Yakubu said that the commission had received credible information that some partisan actors were going around buying up Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from voters or financially inducing them to collect the Voter Identification Numbers (VIN) on their PVCs.