We are in a very significant era in the nation as Nigerians have been going to the polls to decide who rules them and send home those they do not trust at the helm of affairs anymore.
One popular thing that has always characterised elections in the country is accusation by different political parties of election rigging.
In the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections, there were allegations by both major parties of the country, the All Progressives Peoples Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of election irregularities.
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Since election rigging has become a recurrent theme in the nation’s politics, Legit.ng has gathered 10 possible ways and means desperate politicians use to rig elections in the country.
1. Vote Buying
Politicians seeking to influence voters to do their bidding have always cashed in on the poverty in the nation to do so. It is no longer news that many are economically disadvantaged and so can be easily influenced when offered money.
Politicians visit some of these electorates and give them cash to influence their choice of candidate.
2. The use of thugs
The sight of thugs at the polling centre has been known to cause fear in the minds of voters. It is no wonder therefore that thugs are popular tools in the hands of politicians to rig election as they could be used to force electorate to cast votes against their choice.
3. Stealing of ballot boxes
This is another popular means that politicians use to rig elections. It is another reason why thugs are in high demand during elections as they are the ready tools to do this. There have been reports where thugs invaded polling unit when the electoral exercise is ongoing to get away with ballot boxes so that the whole process could be disrupted.
4. Militarisation of election
The presence of military could also scare voters easily and create a situation where electorate easily lose interest from going to vote because of fear of being attacked. Militarisation of election could create a situation where election observers and electorate are scared from monitoring what happens after they have cast their vote.
5. Paying off INEC officials
Politicians could sway the whole electoral process when they are able to influence the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)'s officials with money.
6. Intimidation of INEC officials
In cases when filthy politicians see that they cannot buy over an INEC official, they could resort to threats to the person’s life.
7. Compromising INEC’s logistics
Logistics are very important process of any exercise. It is so significant that the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu had to postpone the president election that was planned to hold on Saturday, February 16, to Saturday, February 23.
When politicians have control over INEC materials, especially the sensitive ones, it could lead to a big manipulation of the process.
8. Influence vote counting
Unworthy elements seeking to rig elections could do so by influencing votes counting at polling units immediately voting is done so the counting can sway in their favour.
9. Threaten electorates
The lives of electorates who stand their ground against vote buying could be threatened just so they can vote against their intended candidates.
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10. Cause late arrival of election materials
Politicians who want to rig election could cause situation that would ensure materials arrive late at their destinations so voters are frustrated and disinterested in the voting process.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the spokesperson of the APC presidential campaign council, Festus Keyamo, on Tuesday, March 5, said it did not seek to stop Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from going to court.
Keyamo, in a statement obtained by Legit.ng said the presidential campaign council was not the body that asked Atiku not to go to court.
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