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ONDO GUBER: Group decries alleged vote-buying during election

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ONDO: Vote buying, electoral offences done in presence of security officers —Yiaga Africa

Civil rights group, YIAGA Africa has decried alleged vote-buying during the just concluded Ondo State governorship election staged on Saturday October 10.

The group made the allegation on Monday through its Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo who said it was disturbing that the criminal act of vote-buying happened under the nose of security agents.

Itodo who spoke during a television programme monitored in Abuja on Monday informed that YIAGA deployed 646 observers for the election.

He added; “The vote-buying that we saw in this election is quite disturbing. Nigeria needs a national campaign and a national discussion around vote-buying.”

He said a situation “where elections are determined by the highest bidder or the highest spender makes a mockery of our democracy, it diminishes human dignity but most importantly, it also questions the legitimacy of election outcomes.

READ ALSO: APC engaged in ‘blatant abuse of power’ before and during Ondo guber election—Ajayi

“For Saturday election, votes were traded between N1,000 and N7,000 in the state.”

Itodo further said that, “What is disturbing is the level of impunity of political actors who engaged in this illegal and corrupt act. You go to polling stations and polling stations have become market places, where, in the full glare of security agents who are deployed to the polling stations, people were just buying votes and nobody reprimanded or arrested them.

“What that tells you is that it appears we have accepted this as a norm and as part of our electoral process and it is very sad.

“The menace of vote-buying is a governance problem, it is an indictment on the political class that they failed to lift people out of poverty, to provide the dividends of democracy and so they use that against the people,” he concluded.

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