THE Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a non-profit organization, has said cases of bribery, violence and harassment of voters recorded during the governorship and state assembly elections has raised questions over the credibility of the polls.
CDD stated this in its preliminary findings on the Governorship and State Assembly elections held on Saturday, March 18.
According to the CDD executive director, Idayat Hassan, there were more cases of vote buying during the governorship election compared to the presidential poll of February 25.
She said although the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) improved logistics deployment and the prompt arrival of electoral officials, there were occasional issues of non-functionality of the Bi-modal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS).
Hassan said, “In the North-West, observers in all seven states reported increased reports of vote trading, primarily by political party agents. Money was used alongside other materials such as food items, wrappers and a ‘credit voucher,’ and those items would be redeemed after the results.
“Similarly, in the North-East, political party agents in Taraba infiltrated the queue, pretended to be voters and used the chance to offer cash for votes.
“In the South-East, there were reports of APGA and LP party agents using materials, phones and other souvenirs to entice voters in Anambra State.
“In the South-South, multiple states reported a desire for voters to show proof of their vote before being paid, with party agents reportedly compiling a list of their voters in Esan Central LGA, Edo state.
“This might be a reflection of the heightened political environment around governorship polls, the importance of local personalities in state-level politics, and the shortages of fuel and Naira.”
Beloved John is an investigative reporter with International Centre for Investigative Reporting.
You can reach her via: Bjohn@icirnigeria.org