Ekiti: NSCDC, group seek criminalisation of vote buying

EMERGENCY DIGEST- A non-governmental organisation, Stop-Violence Against Women in Politics, has called for the amendment of the Electoral Act to criminalise vote selling the same way vote-buying is criminalised.

The Executive Director of Stop-VAWIP, Tumininu Adedeji, said this at the post-election press briefing in Ado Ekiti on Sunday.

The group in collaboration with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps said doing that would sanitise the nation’s electoral system the more.

She said some women were coerced to be agents of vote buying during the governorship election held in Ekiti State on Saturday, saying such an act could discourage many women from participating in politics.

Adedeji said, “Priority voting is not given to pregnant women and nursing mothers in all polling units.

“The Electoral Act 2022 does not empower the security agencies to expressly arrest and prosecute electoral offences.

“Women were coerced as both agents of vote-buying and selling with few cases tracked and reported.

“There is a need to step up the orientation and sensitisation programme to discourage voters from vote trading.

“NSCDC should conduct more public enlightenment on the availability and use of the N-alert application. Agencies should promote increased inter-agency synergy to curb vote-trading, including a service directory for election administrators and security agencies.

“There is a need to amend the Amendment of the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended) to fully criminalise vote trading (vote selling and buying).”

The Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC, Ekiti State Command, Tolulope Adedeji, said the N-alert application, the alert system devised to facilitate response to incidents of violence, was used in Ekiti State.

He said the device would also be deployed in the Osun State governorship election to be held on July 16.

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