© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Kogi Election: Vote-buying occurs in 60% of polling units observed by Situation Room — Report
ABOUT 60 per cent of the polling units observed by the Situation Room in the ongoing Kogi State governorship election engaged in vote-buying.
According to an interim statement signed by Dudu Manuga and Celestine Odo for the group on the state poll released at 4:00 pm on Saturday, the incidents of vote-buying spread across almost all polling units it had observed in the state.
“Situation Room is receiving at this time, incidents of vote-buying across the state, with a systematic approach by politicians. These occurred in about 60 per cent of the polling stations where the situation rooms observed in the state.
The platform, in its report, included some polling units where instances of vote-buying had occurred on Saturday.
At Polling unit 001 and 004, Ogugu ward of Olomaboro Local government area, it was visible seeing politicians distributing N6,000 per person, said the group.
It also stated that someone putting on a black T-shirt and face cap with a candidate emblem was sharing money to voters in Ankpa LGA, Ward Abache in LGEA, polling unit 002.
A party agent at polling unit 16, Kuroko ward of Adavi LGA was seen thumb printing for some electorates and they were given coupons to redeem their cash, noted the Situation Room noted.
Apart from vote-buying, the group also indicated several occurrences of violence adding that thugs were not deterred to instigate ruckus despite the large presence of security officers in many polling units.
It highlighted five LGAs where more than 12 polling units were affected with electoral violence ranges from ballot box snatching and shooting of a voter to sporadic shooting in specific areas.
The Nigeria Police Force had earlier announced that 35, 200 security personnel were deployed across the 21 LGAs in Kogi State.
As the voting comes to an end, the Situation Room called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security personnel to be more vigilant and ensure the counting process is transparent, not marred with violence.
It also urged the “political parties and their representatives to exercise restraint and respect the Non-violence pact that they signed earlier this week”.
The CSOs operating together as the Situation Room include the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), Cleen Foundation, Action Aid Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and Development, CISLAC, YIAGA Africa, Alliance for Credible Elections, Reclaim Naija, CITAD and Enough is Enough Nigeria.