The incidence of vote buying and voter inducement during elections undermines political legitimacy and makes a mockery of democracy, the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA-Africa) said, even as it called for stiff action against the practice.
This is contained in the preliminary report and verification statement of the 2018 governorship election in Ekiti by the organisation.
The report was jointly signed by the Chairman of the YIAGA-Africa Watching The Vote (WTV) Working Group, Dr Hussaini Abdu and the Executive Director YIAGA-Africa, Samson Itodo.
"The Security agencies should devise new strategies for detecting and apprehending individuals or groups involved in vote buying and selling during elections. Stakeholders like INEC, NOA and CSOs should engage in robust advocacy against vote buying. Political parties and candidates should be encouraged to promote issued-based participation at elections," the report said.
The organisation however said in view of the consistency between INEC official results and our WTV estimates, the official results reflect the ballot cast at the polling unit. The report urged all stakeholders to accept the outcome of the election or seek redress using legal means of electoral dispute resolution.
"There is need for openness and transparency in the deployment of security personnel for elections. This will boost confidence in electoral stakeholders and citizens. The membership of the Inter agency Committee on Election Security (ICCES) needs to be reviewed to mainstream other stakeholders like civil society," it said.
While urging the governor-elect Dr. Kayode Fayemi and all APC supporters to be magnanimous in victory, they also urged candidates who did not win to accept the results because they reflect the votes cast.
The organisation said it deployed 500 stationary observers in pairs to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 25 mobile observers located in all 16 local government areas (LGAs) a apart from the 16 collation centre observers to each of the LGA Collation Centres.