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INEC cautions against inducements by money bags in 2023 elections



The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday, urged Nigerians to reject possible inducements by money bags in the 2023 general elections.

Yakubu, who made the call at a one-day stakeholders’ summit in Abuja, urged Nigerians to report incidents of vote-buying to the commission and other relevant authorities for action.

The summit was organised by INEC in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the Nigeria Police Force, and the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON).

He said: “The commission is aware that legal provisions and the actions of the agencies are critical but will not be enough to completely root out the deep-seated cancer of corrupt money in our elections.

“The concerted actions of citizens are crucial. Citizens must reject inducements to sway their votes through vote buying.

“They must also engage effectively in stopping the negative use of money in our electoral process generally by reporting cases to INEC and other agencies.

“In addition, civil society organisations should make this a major plank of both their pre-election and election observation activities.

READ ALSO: Desperate politicians buying PVCs in vain —INEC

“Financial institutions, religious organisations, traditional institutions, the media, civic bodies, and above all, citizens must also join in this fight.’’

He lamented the impact of money politics in Nigeria. “Even more worrisome is the high prospect that criminal money may find its way into our elections through money laundering.

“Above all, the pernicious use of money tremendously increases the likelihood of election violence due to a win-at-all-costs mentality among contestants who would have invested a fortune in the election.

“Surely, an election is not a business venture for profit. Instead, it is an application to serve the people with the understanding that they may prefer someone else on one occasion.

“But then, there would be an opportunity to reapply after four years. Citizens’ choices must never be subverted by the negative use of money,” the INEC chief added.

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