Nigeria security agencies particularly the police assist Nigerian politicians in vote buying.
They also play a prominent role in the conduct of free and fair election, in our own case they can mar the process, National Chairman of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Mr. Dan Nwanyanwu has said.
Nwanyanwu made the accusation on Sunrise Daily on Channels, Nigeria’s Best TV station on Monday.
Nwanyanwu believes that the electoral umpire Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has put in place measures in place to make 2019 General Elections free and fair.
He however berated the involvement of Nigeria police who are negatively used by ruling government to mar free and fair election.
According to him:
“INEC has put measures in place to ensure that elections are free and fair, but our security agencies are the ones that could threaten free elections in Nigeria.
“Go to Rivers State and see what the security agencies are doing there so that an opposition party doesn’t win in the next election.”
He was speaking on how to overcome vote buying in Nigeria.
He said security agencies have larger role to play when it comes to vote buying than INEC.
In contrast former National Publicity Secretary of Social Democratic Party (SDP) Mr. Yemi Akinbode believed said INEC should be held responsible for vote buying in Nigeria.
He said INEC and Nigeria police are partners in the conduct of elections in Nigeria.
Mr. Akinbode opined that INEC the Nigeria Police act on the directive handed down by the electoral umpire.
“INEC is part of vote buying in Nigeria. INEC has the power to order the arrest of voters who display their ballot papers at polling booths and prosecuted,” he said.
“If INEC begins to order the arrest of politicians who violates the electoral act, other politicians will behave themselves,” Mr. Akinbode said.
Vote buying during elections in Nigeria
Vote buying has become a culture in Nigeria where electorates are induced with money in exchange for votes.
The unethical political menace was glaringly done in the public during the last July 14, 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State between PDP and APC, the two major political parties in Nigeria.
After the election, some domestic election observer groups called for prosecution and punishment of anyone caught for vote-buying in future elections.
The observer groups comprised of New Initiative For Social Development, International Federation of Women Lawyers, and Centre for Social Justice, Good Health and Community Development, called on the the National Assembly to review the Electoral Act and enact laws that impose strict punishment on the offenders to serve as a deterrent to others.
The coalition told the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to set a machinery in motion to ensure that such review was carried out before the 2019 general elections.
Mr. Dan Nwanyanwu submitted that cubicle on the day of election should be set in such a way that third party do not know which political party an electorate voted for.
To Mr. Akinbode, INEC should act by the electoral act by ordering the arrest of over ambitious politicians who involve in vote buying on the day of election, “to serve as deterrent to others.”