INEC Raises Alarm Over New Vote Buying Method
8 January 2019 Uncategorized
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) raised alarm over new a new method of vote buying being devised ahead undermine the voting process.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this at the presentation of the Voter Register for 2019 general election to political parties in Abuja.
Prof Yakubu said that the commission had received credible information that some partisan actors were now going round buying up Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from voters or financially inducing them to collect the Voter Identification Numbers (VIN) on their PVCs.
“By collecting their phone numbers and bank details, the intention is to induce voters by electronic transfer of funds to their accounts since it will be difficult to buy votes at polling units.
“We want to reassure Nigerians that we are aware of the new tricks. It is a futile effort.
Yakubu said that the commission had responded to the menace of vote buying in three ways, including the alteration of the configuration of polling units by moving the ballot boxes closer to the voting cubicles making it difficult for voters to expose their marked ballot papers.
Yakubu disclosed that after the mandatory display of the register in all polling units nationwide for claims and objections from Nov. 6 to Nov. 12, 2018, the final register for the 2019 general elections stood at 84,004,084 voters.
This is the register that will be presented to each polling unit nationwide on election day.’’
He also disclosed that there was no change in the number of polling units and voting points used for the 2015 General Elections and the 2016 for area council elections in the FCT.
He said that the Commission had printed and delivered the PVCs to the States for collection, urging all registered voters to approach any of its Local Government Area offices and other designated collection centres nationwide to pick up their cards in person, not in proxy.
Yakubu, who re-emphasised that the Smart Card Readers would be used for the 2019 general elections for accreditation of voters, disclosed that the registered of voters has been modified.
He said that where the biometric authentication failed, the voter would be required to thumbprint a box next to his/her picture on the register and to enter his/her mobile telephone number before proceeding to vote.
According to INEC Chairman, the claim that the Card Reader has been enhanced to recapture voters’ fingerprints at polling units and automatically overwrite the biometric record on our database is untrue and should be disregarded.
Yakubu reminded the leaders of political parties that the deadline for submission of party agent for Presidential and National Assembly elections was Feb. 1, while that of governorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council elections was Feb. 16.
He also disclosed that INEC would keep close watch on campaign finance by political parties by monitoring spending by parties and candidates as well as individual and group donations to campaign organisations.end