A civil society organisation has called on the Police and National Peace Committee (NPC) to adopt and enforce the campaign against vote-buying in their electoral initiatives ahead of the Ekiti governorship election.
The group described vote trafficking as the biggest obstacle to credible and peaceful elections since the introduction of electronic transmission of results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which has made results manipulation difficult.
The CSO, Adopt A Goal Initiative, however, lauded the Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba, for establishing the electoral offences desk, describing it as a strategic intervention that must be enforced to deter election triggers, starting from Ekiti.
“We urge Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar-led NPC and the IGP to pay special attention to the electoral disease called vote-buying ahead of the Ekiti election,” said Adopt A Goal in a statement in Ado Ekiti, signed by its Executive Director, Ariyo-Dare Atoye.
“Vote Trading is an invasive disease threatening the credibility and peace of our elections, and we must work vigorously to fight and eradicate it.
“The idea of exchanging votes for money which characterised previous elections had seriously undermined the social contract between the people and elected officials.
“Sadly, the crime of vote-buying and selling has reduced the electorate to electoral slavery and brought untold hardship to the masses.
“We urge the Police and Peace Committee to see the challenge of vote-buying as a threat to national security, which must be urgently addressed to salvage this democracy.
“The Ekiti Governorship election provides a veritable opportunity to make a bold statement and enforcement against vote trafficking ahead of the 2023 general election,” the statement added.