INEC’s No Phone, No Camera Fiat


The decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to henceforth ban the use of phones and camera at the polling booth, starting with saturday’s governorship election in Osun as a way of curtailing vote-buying doesn’t appear quite thoughtful.

Vote-buying is a complex electoral racket, which involves the security agents at certain level for its successful execution. Therefore, the ban on phones and cameras is too inconsequential in the whole equation, if at all, the electoral body desires to put a stop to that menace. It must do more and this is only achievable through proper evaluation and analysis of the social menace. Certainly not wrist-slapping!

Meanwhile, the decision by the military to lend support to the general security of the 2019 elections must be approached with caution. It is no longer fashionable any more. The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibo Ekwe Ibas, might have meant well, but for how long shall the system be militarised, almost 20 years after her return to civil rule? Something has to give.