- A life ban has been suggested for politicians and political parties that engage in the inducement of voters during election
- The suggestion was given by INEC's Akwa Ibom Resident Electoral Commissioner Mike Igini on Tuesday, July 19
- Igini said sections 114 to 129 under Part 7 of the 2022 Electoral Act clearly identify acts, and conducts that are prohibited
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has proposed a life ban for any politician or political parties involved in vote-buying or selling during elections in the country.
INEC's proposal followed incessant reports of the criminal acts of vote buying and selling during the last Ekiti and Osun state governorship elections.
Vanguard reports that the Akwa Ibom state's Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igini, while speaking on Tuesday, July 19, alleged that vote-buying and selling has assumed the level of an epidemic and has become one of the greatest challenges for the commission to deal with.
Highlighting the implications of vote-buying, Igini said such activities eliminate the expected performance of politicians especially those in power who seek reelection.
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“Secondly, vote buying if not stopped, reinforces inequality in the society because it would be the case of only the rich and the wealthy.
"It will also lead to what is called class bias policies. When you allow vote buying to thrive, you are going to flood the society with inequality of public franchise.
“Nigeria is not the only country that has experienced vote buying. Some of the notorious countries you see today like the United Kingdom, United State of America, former Soviet Union, and Latin American countries, were all involved in that. But what happened? In 1856, Australia gave to humanity the idea of secret balloting to deal with the issue of vote buying.
“There was resistance in England that only embraced it in 1872. America that was very notorious only embraced it in 1892."
Making punishment against vote-buying legal
Speaking further, Igini noted that it is important for the lawmakers of the National Assembly to embrace and champion enactable sanctions against politicians and political parties that engage in vote-trading.
"Today, in England, if you are caught buying votes through your party campaigner or influencer, or campaign manager and it is traceable to you, first you are banned from participating in that election and your political party for six years.
"Then if you repeat that again, you could be banned for life."
Igini also said that the entire sections 114 to 129 under Part 7 of the 2022 Electoral Act clearly identify acts, and conducts that are considered as an anathema that are totally prohibited.
He noted that Section 1 subsection 21 of the 2022 Electoral Act, in particular, prohibits the act of buying and selling of votes.
"This is because a vote is a public good. It’s a citizen’s share of a public franchise. It must not be sold, it must not be bought, in fact, we must stand tall in defence of our democracy and the rule of law.”
Osun polls: Group commends INEC’s electoral performance, decries incessant voter inducement
Following the conclusion of the much anticipated Osun state gubernatorial polls, an election observer group, Justice, Development and Peace Makers Centre (JDPMC) had released its post-election report.
This was contained in a report made available to Legit.ng on Sunday, July 17.
The group commended the independent electoral commission (INEC) for its improvement in the organization and execution of the election.
Group condemns INEC'S decision to terminate CVR exercise on July 31
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had been warned against moves to disenfranchise Nigerians.
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The warning was issued to the electoral body by a group of like-minded Nigerians, the Like Mind 4A New Nigeria on Friday, July 15.
According to the group, the recent move by INEC to terminate the registration of PVCs for citizens by July 31, is anti-democratic.