Democracy Is Not For Sale, INEC Boss Warns Vote Buyers
The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu in no uncertain terms warned against vote buying in the forthcoming election in Bayelsa state.
Yakubu stated this during the commission’s meeting with Bayelsa traditional rulers on Tuesday, Yakubu described vote buying as selling Nigeria’s democracy in the open market.
Nigeria’s elections have always been marred by vote buying, from state governorship elections to the recent general election.
At the meeting held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital, Yakubu said vote buying is one of the major challenges the commission faces during elections in the state.
He said: “Our first concern is the actions and utterances that are likely to lead to the breach of peace during the campaign, during voting on election day and during the collation of results.
“Another challenge is the recurring problem of vote buying. Our democracy cannot be on sale on the open market; citizens should be allowed to choose whoever they wish to vote for on election day without inducement.
“We are confident that with your support, we will continue to stem this ugly trend of vote buying at polling units on election day.
“We shall maintain our neutrality as umpires; INEC is not a political party. INEC has no candidate in the governorship election. The choice of who becomes the next governor rests entirely in the hands of the people of Bayelsa state.”