It is not our job to stop people from buying votes – INEC

it is not our job to stop people from buying votes – inec
it is not our job to stop people from buying votes – inec

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it is not its job to stop people from buying votes during an election.

Prof. Abdulganiy Raji, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for INEC in Osun State, said this on Channels TV’s Daily Sunrise on Thursday morning.

Raji was talking about how dangerous it is for people to buy votes before the Osun State governorship election on Saturday.

Buying and selling votes has become one of the biggest problems during elections in Nigeria. For example, there was a lot of buying and selling of votes in the election for governor of Ekiti State last month.

Rev. Fr. Atta Barkindo, who is in charge of the National Peace Committee’s Secretariat, said on Wednesday that he was worried about people buying votes in the country’s elections.

The cleric said that voters in Osun were already getting ready to sell their votes during the election, and he complained that poverty was very obvious in the area.

But when Prof. Raji spoke on Thursday, he said, “As far as buying votes goes, let me tell you that INEC can’t stop it. We can only try to stop people from doing it by educating and making people aware of their rights as voters, which we have been doing a lot of.

“Buying and selling votes is illegal, and INEC is not a police force that can actually arrest people. We can only tell the security people about it when it’s happening. Then, the people who did it will be arrested and brought to court, where we will join them.

“I’m always surprised when people talk about buying and selling votes and think that INEC can stop it. Buying and selling votes has nothing to do with the job of running an election.

“The people who are buying and selling votes are the ones who should be talked to.”

He did say, though, that INEC would work with other important parties to stop buying votes in Nigeria’s elections.

Analysts said that the way the voting booths were set up during the Ekiti State Governorship election made it easier to buy votes, but the Osun State REC said that INEC had made a new design for the voting booths as part of its efforts to stop election rigging.

He also said that security agents should arrest people who refused to fold their ballots after marking them with their thumbs.

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