2023: INEC to sustain fight against vote-buying – Yakubu

2023: INEC to sustain fight against vote-buying – Yakubu

By Emmanuel Oloniruha, Abuja.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will not relent in its determination to prevent vote-buying in 2023 general elections.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the declaration on Monday in Abuja at a stakeholders’ summit organised to address the influence of money in the 2023 general elections.

Yakubu said that INEC harboured no illusion that it was going to be easy to root out the negative influence of money in elections but was determined to tackle the menace.

“We fully realised that today’s initiative will not go down well with people who may not be committed to the growth of our electoral system and the consolidation of our democracy.

“We expect them to fight back. There will be both covert and overt pressure, countervailing actions and even threats by these vested interests.

“I wish to reiterate that our loyalty is to Nigeria and our allegiance is to Nigerians. We are committed to working with the collaborating agencies to see that this initiative succeeds in the 2023 general elections and beyond.

“The commission is aware that legal provisions and the actions of the agencies are critical but will not be enough to completely root out the deep-seated cancer of corrupt money in our election,” he said.

Yakubu said: “The concerted actions of citizens are crucial. Citizens must reject inducements to sway their votes through vote-buying.

“They must also engage effectively in stopping the negative use of money in our electoral process generally by reporting cases to INEC and other agencies.

“In addition, civil society organisations should make this a major plank of both their pre-election and election observation activities.

“Financial institutions, religious organisations, traditional institutions, the media, civic bodies and, above all, citizens must also join in this fight”.

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