Samson Itodo

Osun election: YIAGA Africa calls on the EFCC and ICPC to stop vote-buying.

YIAGA Africa, an election monitoring group, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to arrest anybody seeking to purchase or sell votes in the Osun gubernatorial race.

Samson Itodo
Samson Itodo, a convener of the #NotTooYoungToRun Movement

Mr Samson Itodo, the group’s Executive Director, made the announcement during a news conference in Osogbo on Thursday.

Itodo said that political parties, candidates, and their supporters must avoid vote-buying and analogous practices that jeopardize the confidentiality and value of the vote.

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“Yiaga Africa demands for improved collaboration with the EFCC and the ICPC in making arrests of political party leaders, agents, and anybody seeking to purchase or sell votes prior to and on election day,” he stated.

“Security agencies should establish monitoring measures on Election Day to checkmate and limit staff excesses.”

The Osun poll, Itodo said, will put election stakeholders, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies, to the test because of the distinct political and security environment.

He urged INEC’s permanent and ad hoc workers, all security agents, political party candidates and supporters, and all voters to work together to achieve a credible and peaceful election.

“While INEC has expressed confidence in its readiness, YIAGA Africa advises the commission not to overestimate its capability or underestimate potential problems that might jeopardize the election.”

“Voters in Osun and Yiaga Africa expect INEC and security agencies to provide credible, peaceful, and conclusive elections free of logistical issues, technology breakdowns, uneven implementation of electoral rules and guidelines, electoral violence, and vote-buying,” he added.

Mrs Cynthia Mbamalu, the group’s Programme Manager, also stated that vote buying degraded the quality of leadership and, as a result, harmed citizens’ involvement.

“As a result, the social compact between citizens and government is becoming transactional rather than built on trust, accountability, and desire for effective governance,” she explained.

In his remarks, YIAGA board member Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu stated that the increased activities of political thugs and cults in the state were without a doubt capable of endangering the safety of workers, materials, and people on election day.

Nwagwu asked registered voters to turn out in large numbers to vote for their preferred candidates.

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