2019 Election: Can INEC Stop Buying And Selling of Votes?
Nigeria News takes a look at the manner in which the Ekiti electorate beat the INEC to perpetrate election fraud.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC knew quite well that there were buying and selling of votes in the last governorship election in Ekiti State but could not own up so as not to lose its credibility.
Not until domestic and international election observers spoke about it that though the INEC did well in the area of logistics, the commission failed to stop the trading of votes at the various polling booths.
Mrs Virginia Marumoa-Gae, an American observer faulted the conduct of the polls when she said that the election was going on well until the buying and selling of votes began.
She also commended men of the Nigeria Police for standing at every polling booth to prevent snatching of ballot boxes.
However, despite the heavy presence of the policemen and the operatives of the Department of State Service, the electorate and the politicians exchanged votes for money.
It was a trending video on social media on how voters exposed their ballot papers to reveal the party they had voted for so as to receive their cash from party agents.
A vote cost between N3, 000 and N5, 000 depending on the party a voter had chosen. Expectedly, the two prominent parties, APC and PDP had denied their involvement in buying and selling of votes.
Two days ago, a group of women protested on the streets of Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti state, singing and alleging that the All Progressives Congress, APC’s candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi had rigged the election.
The results of the Ekiti election though favoured APC, it is too close to call. It could have gone the other way if the PDP had bought a higher number of votes. The two parties displayed gangsterism to outsmart each other in the buying of votes.
After its National Working Committee meeting on Wednesday, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan said that the party had collated all its facts to nail APC and tell the public how the election was rigged.
No doubt, the election fell short of the global standard, the INEC had played its part, which of course has failed to address the new system of rigging.
There was no snatching of ballot boxes by the electorate or party agents but voters pretentiously allowed the party agent to see who they voted for in the money-induced election.
In a statement released by the PDP, the party alleged INEC of colluding with the APC to doctor the results of the election to favour Fayemi.
Ologbondiyan noted that the INEC quickly went ahead to remove the results of the poll from its website when it noticed that the public would know its antics.
To him, INEC has compromised its independence and now worked with the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC to subjugate other political parties.
This is an area the INEC has to take a critical look at as the 2019 general election approaches; the issue of buying and selling of votes.