An election monitoring group, Yiaga Africa, has raised an alarm over ongoing cases of voter inducement ahead of the Ekiti State gubernatorial election holding on Saturday, June 18, 2022.
Yiaga Africa disclosed this in its third pre-election report for Ekiti State, stating that voter inducement had been persistent in the state.
“Political party campaigns were observed across the state, with more reports of voter inducement received. This is closely related to the increasing adoption of door-to-door campaigns, making it easier for direct voter inducement,” the report stated.
The group called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to look into the shortcomings observed during the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for local council elections in the Federal Capital Territory.
It added that its report would provide enough clues for the Commission to address the irregularities associated with the use of BVAS.
Yiaga Africa stated that the deployment of BVAS in state-wide elections like the Anambra governorship and the FCT Area Council elections was marred by extensive reports of abnormalities, which led to the extension of voting time on election day.
It, therefore, cautioned INEC to ensure it deploys an effective BVAS to avoid irregularities that might jeopardise the voting exercise.
According to Yiaga Africa, the Ekiti election would be another chance for the functionality and effectiveness of the BVAS to be assessed, and the capacity of the Commission to resolve all challenges observed with its deployment in recently-held elections.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is responsible for ensuring that the BVAS functions optimally in the Ekiti State election. This will need INECs commitment to the conduct of a mock voter accreditation exercise to test the effectiveness of the BVAS ahead of the Ekiti election, as stated during the quarterly stakeholders meeting held on May 11, 2022,” it said.
The body also urged the Commission to increase its voter education across communities in the state.