By VICTOR ADEOTI
OSOGBO- An Election Monitoring Group, YIAGA Africa, has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to arrest anyone attempting to buy or sell votes during Osun governorship election.
The Executive Director of the group, Mr Samson Itodo, made the call during a news conference on Thursday in Osogbo.
Itodo said that political parties, candidates, and their supporters must refrain from vote-buying and the related practice of compromising the ballot’s secrecy and value of the vote.
He said, ” Yiaga Africa calls for better coordination with the EFCC and the ICPC in making arrests of political party leaders, agents and anyone attempting to buy or sell votes before the election and on election day.
“Security agencies should deploy monitoring mechanisms to checkmate and curtail personnel excesses on Election Day”.
Itodo said with a different political and security terrain, the Osun election would test the resolve of election stakeholders, especially the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to conduct credible, transparent and peaceful election.
He appealed to INEC’s permanent and ad hoc staff, all security agents, political party candidates and their supporters, as well as all electorate to work together to ensure that the election is credible and peaceful.
“While INEC has expressed confidence in the state of its preparedness, YIAGA Africa urges the commission not to overestimate its capacity nor underestimate potential challenges that could undermine the election.
“The voters in Osun and Yiaga Africa expect that INEC and security agencies will deliver credible, peaceful and conclusive elections bereft of challenges of election logistics, technological failures, inconsistent application of electoral laws and guidelines, electoral violence and vote-buying”, he said.
The Programme Manager of the group, Ms Cynthia Mbamalu , also said that vote buying reduced the quality of leadership and by extension affected Citizens’ participation.
“Thus, the social contract between citizens and government is becoming transactional rather than a relationship based on trust, accountability and demand for good governance,” she said.
In his remarks, Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, YIAGA board member, said the increasing activities of political thugs and cultists in the state were no doubt capable of threatening the safety of personnel, materials, and citizens on election day.
Nwagwu urged registered voters to come out en mass to vote for candidates of their Choice. (NAN)