The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has said that the ugly trends of voter inducement, also known as vote buying in Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State are inimical to the credibility of the electoral process.
The TMG Chairperson, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, said Wednesday in a statement that the organisation received reports of distribution of money, food items and gifts by politicians at Boripe, Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Ife North, Ife South, Obokun, Ede North, Egbedore, Boluwaduro, Ila, Irepodun, Iwo Local Government Areas of the state.
“These ugly trends are dangerous recipe against the credibility of the electoral process. The rampant case of voter inducements does not portray the electoral process in good light as it creates serious questions on the integrity of the process and legitimacy of its outcome.”
“TMG have also received reports of violence or threats of violence as political parties go out for campaigns, we, therefore, call on candidates and their supporters to remain civil in their campaigns,” Akiyode-Afolabi whose organisation is one of the accredited election observers said.
She urged the indigenes of Osun State to refuse to be used as instruments for violence and also to get involved in the electoral process peacefully.
According to her, accusation and counter-accusation of vandalization of billboards by political parties are unfortunate and should be discouraged.
“This is indeed an early warning signal that security agencies should investigate to ensure a peaceful election comes September 22nd,” she said.
The TMG boss, however, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting series of voter education workshops and trainings, including distribution of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) across the state.
She also called for improvement on this especially to ensure citizens collect their PVCs and come out to vote on Election Day.
She said, “TMG enjoins the Nigerian Police, State Security Service, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and other major election monitors to subdue the issue of voter inducement across the state ahead of the elections. We also urge citizens to say no to vote buying as any politician that gives citizens money for their votes does not have good plans for them.”
While appreciating the commitment of the security agencies to the electioneering process, the TMG also enjoined them to ensure adequate deployment of personnel to maintain law and order at the polling units and to ensure arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of electoral offenses.