Osun Election: There Are Still Reports Of Votes Buying This Time – Observer

 

The Convener of the Civil Societies Elections Situation Room, Clement Nwankwo, says there were reports of vote buying in the Osun State governorship election.

Speaking to Channels Television on Saturday, Nwankwo regretted that despite efforts by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to curb the vote buying, the menace still persisted.

“There are still report of votes buying this time, maybe more discreetly,” he said in Osogbo, the state capital.

Nwankwo also spoke about the restriction of movement in the state, suggesting that some observers had challenges moving around.

“We have few reports of disruptions in movement. It looks like the soldiers, not the policemen who are manning the different checking points are not able to allow people to move as freely as they should and, certainly, observers have presented reports of being disrupted by the soldiers,” he said.

Nwankwo, however, commended INEC for the peaceful conduct of the exercise.

He hopes that the electoral body would consolidate on the positive start to the polls by ensuring that the collation of votes remains free and fair.

The election is seen by many, including election observers as a litmus test for the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

And Nwankwo wants INEC to make improvements in terms of logistics and security for the general elections.

“This is one state election. In the general elections, you will not be able to mobilise 30,000 to 40,000 policemen to a particular state. It will be restricted as the number of policemen in this country, which is still about three hundred and something thousand.

“That is not going to be able to provide this kind of coverage for the general elections. So I think that while this may be a test case in terms of INEC’s logistics and ability to conduct a state election, it doesn’t necessarily reflect in the general elections.

“INEC needs to know what lessons to take from this and how to interpret that into the larger context of the Nigerian general election.”

Residents of Osun went to the polls to elect a successor for Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

Learn From Ghana’s Election, INEC Commissioner Tells Nigerians

The Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini on Tuesday said Ghana will remain the pride of Africa as it stands as a model in African democracy which Nigeria must emulate.

Mr Igini, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said “the history of a people is a reflection of how they decide to conduct themselves.”

The INEC commissioner said Ghana has conducted six successful elections that has met both local and international standards and that the success is not far-fetched because the saying “Ghana First” applies that every Ghanaians should believe in the country.

He said Ghanaians are where they are today because they started a journey of change some years ago, remaining committed to the value of change and in making the country attain a higher level in Africa and West Africa Sub-region and that they also adopt new method which is the introduction of the biometric system in the election process.

“Some of the things I found in Ghana are quite interesting unlike in our own country; and of course we can see why we are where we are,” he said.