Ondo Governorship Election: Rights activist advises against vote buying

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By Ahmed Ubandoma Abuja  -Ahead of the Oct. 10 Ondo State governorship election, human rights activist, Mr Bakari Mohammed,
has advised the electorate desist from selling their votes, but use their power elect visionary candidates with people-oriented programmes.

He gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, saying that “vote selling and
buying is capable of mortgaging the future of Nigerians.”

He added that the electorate must be proactive and eliminate the alarming trend of vote buying in the electoral process.

The rights activist also appealed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Police and relevant agencies
engage Nigerians through enlightenment campaigns sensitise them the dangers of vote buying and selling.

According to Bakari , vote buying is an offence under the 2010 Electoral Act.

He said the electoral criminalised vote buying before, during and after elections.

“Vote buying is an offence under the Electoral Act 2010 which is the applicable in .

“The Act provides that any financial inducement with regards to elections amount to electoral offence.’’

Bakari, however, expressed regret that the Nigerian electoral and other statutes did not make adequate provision for punishment of electoral offenders.

He called on , especially the law enforcement agencies, to decisively with anyone trying to perpetrate violence before, during and after the election.

The rights activist also called for the establishment of courts to try electoral offences.

He said “courtrooms are filled with other criminal , hence the need to create courts for speedy dispensation of electoral offences .’’

Bakari called on Nigerians to engage candidates seeking political offices on a social contract aimed at providing basic amenities such as roads, , healthcare
and schools