Ekiti Poll: Criminalise Votes Buying, Observers Tells NASS

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SOME Election Observer Group, yesterday, called on the National Assembly to review the Electoral Act to make perpetrators of vote buying to get a jail term. Ekiti election This came as the Ekiti State Governor-elect, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has warned the management of the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, to stop working in cahoots with Governor Ayodele Fayose to embark on illegal mass employment at the college in exclusive  favour  of the governor’s supporters.

Some Ekiti State-based Civil Society Organisations:   New Initiative For Social Development, NISD, International Federal of Women Lawyers, FIDA, and Centre for Social Justice, Good Health and Community Development, CENSJHOD, in their report on the July 14 Ekiti governorship election, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and security agencies to have done creditably well in the conduct of the election.

At a press conference jointly addressed by the NISD Executive Director, Abiodun Oyeleye and FIDA Programme Officer, Blessing Ajileye, noted that   INEC improved tremendously in the conduct of the election compared to previous elections that were substantially rated to either ended inconclusively or marred with irregularities.

Oyeleye, who delivered the report, exonerated the police of complicity in the votes buying cases, saying chasing the perpetrators around the polling units might distract their attention from the fundamental function of protecting the election materials, electorate and INEC staff during the election. The report reads: “The election represented the will of the people of Ekiti State, with the exception of votes buying we noticed. Many of those who cast their votes were willing to be bought. Some even waited at the polling units waiting for the highest bidder. And our observation showed that all parties were culpable of this. “If you sell your votes, you can’t be expecting good roads, good healthcare delivery among others, because you have made politicians to see elections as investments.”