- The agitation against vote-buying or voter inducement as witnessed in the Ekiti and Osun gubernatorial polls has been greeted with a lot of criticism
- Civil society groups and electoral stakeholders have vehemently condemned describing it as a stain on Nigeria's electoral practice
- The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has taken centre stage to champion a campaign against voter inducement
The Executive Director of the Centre, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, disclosed this on Thursday, August 4 during the working group meeting on the Strengthening Accountability Networks Among Civil Society (SANCUS) project held in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
The project, which is the first working group meeting of the centre was implemented by the Transparency International Secretariat (TIS) through its chapters in 21 countries, supported by the European Commission.
Rafsanjani noted that anti-graft agencies have more work to do by not just apprehending vote buyers but also the masterminds of such illegal acts.
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CISLAC lauds anti-graft agencies for outstanding performance in Osun guber polls
Taking the recent Osun election as a case study where he commended efforts of the anti-graft commission, he, however, calls upon relevant agencies to be activated in ensuring political parties involved in electoral offences are not spared.
"We need to see prosecutions and conviction of those offenders as well as the politicians sending these individuals on these errands. The funds use to buy votes are moved through our financial institutions, and it is important for the anti-graft agencies to target the “big fishes”.
The Centre noted that alongside other civil society organizations, it had advocated and marched for the passage and assent of the electoral legal framework, and it is important for the society to enlighten the working group on the provisions so that it can all collectively utilize it from an informed position.
Rafsanjani, in his address, was bothered by the crisis in the leadership of the country which has resulted in robbery, bandits, and vote-buying, among others.
"Corruption is not just a threat but an enabler of other illicit conducts. Consequently, the motivation for corruption is more widespread during the period leading to elections. Therefore, all stakeholders must be alert to this and collaborate in ways that will mitigate these illicit flows," he said.
However, he urged stakeholders to monitor compliance, monitor campaigns, and political spending, follow up on money in politics, press for the fulfilment of anti-corruption pledges, educate the public about political integrity, expose the unexpected wealth of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), and mobilize a critical mass of people to reject dirty money politics.
The SANCUS project aims to improve the democratic accountability of public institutions globally by empowering CSOs to demand for systemic change to address accountability and anti-corruption deficits.
Buhari must prosecute high-profile criminals to restore public trust - Rafsanjani
In another development, the executive director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani said the incessant rate of corruption in the defence and security sector is the reason for national instability.
The CISLAC boss blamed this factor as the reason why Nigerian troops and other security outfits have been rendered powerless in the fight against corruption.
He, however, urged the president to intensify efforts in the fight against corruption in order to restore public trust and confidence.
Citizens have no connection with govt, says Rafsanjani
Meanwhile, President Buhari's assertions that his administration has done well in fighting insecurity and corruption have been labelled as a mere fragment of words that hold no grounds.
Chairman of the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Comrade Auwal Rafsanjani made this known on Wednesday, June 22.
The pragmatic comrade urged the government to tackle critical issues of injustice and the collapse of responsive governance as the first step to curbing the frequent attacks by IPOB.