Written by David LAWANI

INEC warns against attempts to subvert electoral process

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has warned against attempts by desperate politicians to subvert the electoral process in any form in the forthcoming 2019 general elections. 

The commission said it will work with security agencies to deal with violators of the electoral process, including those who may be trying to compromise its staff. 

Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, sounded the warning during a consultative meeting with leaders of the 91 registered political parties in Abuja.

He said the commission was aware of the various tricks being adopted by desperate persons in the build up to the 2019 general elections but assured Nigerians that the commission is always one step ahead of them in its plans to safeguard the sanctity of the ballot. 

According to the INEC chairman: "A new method of vote buying has been devised. We have received credible information that some partisan actors are now going round buying up PVCs from voters or financially inducing them to collect the Voter Identification Numbers, VIN, on their PVCs. In some instances, telephone numbers and details of bank accounts of voters have been collected. 

"By collecting the PVCs, their intention may be to deprive the voters of voting since no one can vote without the PVC. By collecting their phone numbers and band bank details, the intention is to induce voter by electronic transfer of funds to their accounts since it will be difficult to buy votes at the polling units. 

“By collecting the VINs, they may be acting on the mistaken notion that our system can be hacked into and the Card Readers somehow preloaded ahead of election and compromised. We want to assure Nigerians that we are aware of the new tricks. It is futile effort”. 

Speaking on efforts made at addressing the worrisome trend of vote buying, the INEC chairman said “the commission has responded to the menace in three ways. First, we altered the configuration of our polling units by moving the ballot boxes closer to the voting cubicles in order to make it difficult for voters to expose their ballot papers. 

 

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