Ekiti 2022: Vote Buying, Ballot Snatching Surges at Polls As INEC Maintain Clean Slate
- The persistent case of voter inducement is said to have taken over the electoral process of the Ekiti governorship election
- Electoral observer group, Yiaga Africa stated that voter inducement is on the rampage in some polling units across the state
- It was also gathered that ballot box snatching occurred in at least two polling units in Ilawe Ekiti state
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Ekiti, Ado-Ekiti - Mid-day reports from the ongoing governorship polls in Ekiti state have confirmed a reoccurrence of voter inducement in some major polling units.
According to a statement issued by Yiaga Africa on Saturday, June 18 co-signed by its executive director, Samson Itodo and board member, Ezenwa Nwagwu, Legit.ng gathered that some party agents from the ruling party APC were seen dolling out cash to electorates.
As contained in the statement, the election observer group stated that vote-buying was recorded in Ijeo, Ipoti, Ogidi and Ado-Ekiti.
The statement reads:
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"Vote buying was reported by WTV observers in Alowodolu / Ojo - The Apostolic P.S Compound with PU code 13/09/04/00 in Ijero Ward D of Ijero LGA. Party agents from APC were reportedly sharing N7,000 to voters who showed how their ballot paper was marked.
"A similar report on vote buying by APC was received from Open Space At Bamitale Along St. Mary’s Road in Ikere.
"Also, in Ogidi - in Ipoti Ward A, party agents from PDP and SDP were seen bribing voters. At C. A. C. Gramm. Sch. / Ola Oluwa II with PU code 014 in Ado-Ekiti, APC party agent was also reportedly giving N5000 to voters who confirmed they had voted for the party."
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Similarly, it was gathered that there were cases of ballot box snatching at two polling units in the state.
The statement says:
"Yiaga Africa also received reports of ballot box snatching in two polling units with codes 13/05/06/005 and 007 in Ilawe Ward IV, near St. Patrick’s School."
Yiaga lauds INEC for consistency at polls
Meanwhile, Yiaga Africa hailed the exploit of the independent electoral commission (INEC) in the process of the election.
The electoral observer group said it recorded early opening of polls stating that polling officials and materials arrived at 7:30 am in 75% of polling units across the State.
It said as at 8:30 am, 24% of polling units had commenced accreditation and voting as it later increased to to 99% by 9:30 am.
The observer group however stated that the early commencement is an improvement when compared to the Anambra 2021 gubernatorial election where INEC officials were observed in only 17% of polling units by 7:30 am and accreditation and voting had begun by 9:30 am in 28% of polling units.
It also lauded INEC for the functionality of the BVAS machine and the deployment of assistive materials across the polling units.