THERE was an increase in vote buying in the March 18 governorship and state assembly election, according to YIAGA Africa.
The non-profit civic hub said vote-buying was higher in state elections compared to what was applicable in the presidential election.
YIAGA said this during a press briefing in Abuja on Saturday, March 18.
According to Ezenwa Nwagwu, a YIAGA Africa board member, Party agents bribed voters using various items.
Party agents were found sharing cash, wrappers, food items, and alcoholic drinks.
Nwagwu said YIAGA observers “confirmed reports of vote buying across eight states.”
“In Sarkin Mudu Polling Unit (016) in Giade LGA of Bauchi, PDP agents have been sighted bribing accredited voters with a thousand naira, a wrapper and a pack of spaghetti each. The voters hand over their ballot papers to party agents for a bribe. A similar report was received from PU 006 Rangan Ward, Warji LGAof Bauchi, on distributing wrappers, two thousand naira and a pack of spaghetti to voters.
“Party agents for the APC and PDP party are reported to have shared food, cash and alcoholic drinks with some voters. This happened in Apir market square 1, Makurdi, Benue state. In PU O6 Ward 05 Isoko North, Delta State, INEC officials for the polling unit received a cash gift from the APC party agent present,” he said.
He noted that the election was also characterised by harassment of voters, destruction of electoral materials, and accreditation of voters without the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
He charged INEC to work towards winning the electorate’s trust with the March 18 election.