Nigeria: INEC Uncovers Alleged New Vote-Buying Plans

President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Olusegun Obasanjo attending the African Union summit taking place at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
22 January 2019

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has uncovered new plans by some politicians to buy votes through food vendors around polling units in the forthcoming general elections.

Food vendors are employees under the Home Grown School Feeding arm of the Social Intervention Programme of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, disclosed this yesterday during a meeting with the European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria, led by Ketil Karlsen and Chief Observer, EU Election Observation Mission to Nigeria, Maria Arena, at the commission's headquarters in Abuja.

Karlsen had called for a transparent electoral process so as to avoid rancour and as well deepen democracy in the country.

Meanwhile, the electoral body has dismissed allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that its Chairman, Yakubu, is being compromised to rig the presidential election in favour of the APC.

Yakubu's Chief Press Secretary, Rotimi Oyekanmi, in a statement, described the allegation as baseless and unsubstantiated.

He asked Nigerians to disregard the allegation and implored the PDP and other political parties to support INEC in its desire to conduct free and fair elections.

The PDP, through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, had at a press conference on Monday raised the alarm of alleged move to compromise the INEC chairman.

"The entire nation is worried and the palpable fear of every Nigerian today is whether Mahmood Yakubu can conduct an election, which will indeed be free, fair, credible and transparent," he said.

Oyekanmi said: "Just like all other baseless and unsubstantiated allegations leveled by the spokesman of PDP against the INEC chairman in the recent past, this new set of allegations is following the same route. Please ask him, where is the concrete evidence to support these new allegations? And what does the country stand to benefit from this desperation to cause needless confusion? Did he attend the meeting where such incentives were purportedly offered the INEC chairman? Does he have witnesses to support his assertions?"

In another development, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has threatened to chase away N-power personnel who may be deployed to Rivers State as (INEC ad-hoc staff during the 2019 general elections.

Wike alleged that the N-power list was concocted to favour the APC), adding that the move is a ploy to rig the 2019 elections.

Wike stated this yesterday at the PDP's campaign rally in Ikwerre Local Council of the state.

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