Ondo Governorship Election: Rights activist advises against vote buying




Ahead of the Oct. 10 Ondo State governorship election, human rights activist, Mr Bakari Mohammed,
has advised the electorate to desist from selling their votes, but use their power to elect visionary candidates with people-oriented programmes.

He gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, saying that “vote selling and
buying is capable of mortgaging the future of Nigerians.”

He added that the electorate must be proactive and eliminate the alarming trend of vote buying in the electoral process.

The rights activist also appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigeria Police and relevant agencies
to engage Nigerians through enlightenment campaigns to sensitise them to the dangers of vote buying and selling.

According to Bakari , vote buying is an offence under the 2010 Electoral Act.

He said the electoral law criminalised vote buying before, during and after elections.

“Vote buying is an offence under the Electoral Act 2010 which is the applicable law in Nigeria.

“The Act provides that any financial inducement with regards to elections amount to electoral offence.’’

Bakari, however, expressed regret that the Nigerian electoral law and other statutes did not make adequate provision for punishment of electoral offenders.

He called on the Federal Government, especially the law enforcement agencies, to deal decisively with anyone trying to perpetrate violence before, during and after the election.

The rights activist also called for the establishment of special courts to try electoral offences

.

He said “courtrooms are filled with other criminal cases, hence the need to create special courts for speedy dispensation of electoral offences cases.’’

Bakari called on Nigerians to engage candidates seeking political offices on a social contract aimed at providing basic amenities such as roads, water, healthcare
and schools

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