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NCFront Decries Vote Buying In Ekiti Guber Election


June 23, (THEWILL) – The National Consultative Front (NCFront), promoters of the Third Force Movement, has condemned in strong terms, the high level of vote buying and cash inducement which characterised the seemingly peaceful and fairly well coordinated Ekiti State governorship election.

In a release signed by its Spokesman, Dr Yunusa Tanko, NCFront is demanding a proper investigation of reported cases of this malfeasance, while calling for adequate sanctions to curb the ugly trend.

The group which held its Strategic Review Meeting of key Leaders and Stakeholders of the Movement on Tuesday, 21st June, 2022, at the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), Victoria Island, Lagos, warned that vote buying could ultimately mar the outcomes of the 2023 general elections, despite commendable improvements in the electoral process hitherto achieved.

It said this trend, if not quickly checked, could further entrench the malpractice and adversely affect the outcomes of future elections.

The group calls on INEC to pay urgent attention to and decisively take steps to ensure that vote buyers and sellers, as well as those who sponsor and enable them are arrested and promptly prosecuted.

“It is worrisome that in spite of widespread reports and criticisms against vote buying and monetary inducement of voters and security personnel in previous election, INEC has not taken any notable bold steps to bring offenders to justice. Such attitude could be misinterpreted as acceptance, collaboration or helplessness on the part of INEC, if not confronted urgently and drastically”, NCFront said.

Among other measures, NCFront Third Force Movement suggests the deployment of intelligence enabled technology, training of electoral and security personnel and other reliable evidence gathering methods, in order to bring an end to this dangerous trend.

“Vote buying and electoral bribery, rob the electorate of the chance to select right leaders and give undue advantage to those who have looted our treasuries and held the nation corruptively captive”, it said.

The group also expressed concern over the pains and challenges being experienced by huge crowds of enthusiastic and patriotic adult citizens, who are daily, trooping out to INEC offices, to get registered for their Permanent Voter Cards.

It said while it sees the massive turn out of these Nigerians as encouraging, it questions the inadequate deployment of registering machines and personnel to locations close to the people and particularly on work free days for convenience.

“INEC should take advantage of the opportunity of offers of accommodation and financial support by public spirited Nigerians to ensure all eligible voters are registered and given their PVC.

“If 2023 elections would be free, fair, transparent, credible and a true reflection of the will of the Nigerian people, INEC must leave no stone unturned in registering voters and delivering their PVCs to them”, NCFront said.