Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
A civil society organisation (CSO), Situationroom, has appealed to the security agencies that would monitor Saturday’s election to arrest and prosecute whoever is seen buying votes from the electorate.
The body commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies on the peaceful and orderly manner with which sensitive materials that would be deployed for the conduct of the poll were distributed on Friday.
The Situationroom coalition consists of credible CSOs like: Cleen Foundation, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Police and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), among others.
Briefing newsmen in Ado Ekiti during its first preliminary report on the Ekiti governorship election, the Chairman of the Coalition, Clement Nwankwo, said the menace of monetised politics should be tackled in the country to sanitise the electoral system.
It urged security agencies to shun acts of intimidation on the day of election to prevent apathy, adding that the 30,000 personnel deployed in Ekiti must be evenly spread to ensure safety cross all the towns and villages.
“We have made recommendations to the security agencies on how to tackle vote buying. It is a serious electoral offence that must not be allowed in our country.
“So, our security must be up and doing and remain committed to the success of this poll,” he advised.
Nwankwo commended the security agencies for sustaining peace on the eve of the election, describing this as a sign that the election will be orderly and credible.
It observed that: “The political parties must conduct themselves in a manner that does not encourage violence by their supporters, as they will be held liable for their activities that trigger violence.
“We call on the security agencies, including the Army, police and other arms to assure election observers and electorate of their personal safety and urges voters to go out and peacefully to cast their votes in exercise of their constitutional rights to be part of democratic process.”
He reiterated that all elections must demonstrate the highest possiblecommitment from the security services to support INEC in completing its constitutional role of organising credible elections that can
inspire continued public confidence.