The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is ready to curb vote buying by politicians during elections, but it has also admitted that politicians involved in the practice during Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State “were clever” about it.
National Commissioner of INEC and Chair, Legal Services Committee, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, who spoke to journalists in Benin City on Wednesday, said the commission was taking the issue of vote buying very seriously, in order to curbe the trend during the governorship election in Osun State.
“INEC is taking issue of vote buying very seriously. I am just coming as part of the Supervising National Commissioner for Ekiti and these things occur,” Agbamuche-Mbu said.
“We are having another conference on electoral offences. Vote buying is another electoral offence and we are looking at ways to curb it. Politicians keep trying their best. Politicians were clever in Ekiti. They have ingenious ways to sort themselves out. We will go back and review it and see how we can stop vote buying with the best of our ability.
“Security agencies were not involved in the two local governments I supervised. Security agencies did well in Ekiti. We have to continue to enlighten and educate our electorate. It is to educate our people for them to realize that their votes count and not all about money.”
She also spoke on the importance of adequate enlightenment and education of the electorate on the dangers of exchanging their votes for cash.