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TMG urges INEC to fix problems with election equipment, end vote-buying

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THE Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve its handling of election equipment and put an end to vote-buying.

The election monitoring group frowned at the malfunctioning of the Bi-modal Electronic Voting System (BVAS) and the high rate of vote-buying recorded in the Anambra State governorship election.

Commenting on the election on Wednesday TMG chairman Auwal Musa Rafsanjani said the high level of violence in the build up to the election affected campaigns and eventually led to low voter turnout, a development which he said was not good for democracy.

He added that the one-week sit-at-home threatened by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) a few weeks to the election also discouraged voters.

“The stand of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the strong presence of security operatives had an effect on how voters came out to exercise their franchise,” Rafsanjani said.

Rafsanjani, while observing that vote-buying was rampant during the governorship poll, said, “Voters were seen selling their votes for as low as N2000. In some cases, the security operatives looked away while vote buying was going on at some polling units.”

Rafsanjani hailed residents of Ebenebe community in Awka North Local Government Area, particularly the women, for openly resisting vote-buying in their polling unit.

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He urged Nigerians to emulate the “sterling example demonstrated by these heroines of the elections”.

Rafsanjani is also Chairman Board of Trustees Amnesty International Nigeria, Head of Transparency International Nigeria and Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC).

Also commenting on the election Vice Chairman of TMG Miriam Menkiti expressed disappointment at INEC’s performance.

“It is shocking that despite the consistent statement by INEC that the card readers were all set for the elections, we still witnessed a high rate of poor connection of the BVAS in various parts of the state,” she said.

The TMG urged INEC to start preparing for the 2023 general elections.

The group equally urged the security agencies to investigate and charge to court all security operatives who violated human rights during the election.

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