The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it is not its job to prevent vote-buying during an election.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Osun State, Prof Abdulganiy Raji, stated this while speaking on Channels Television’s Daily Sunrise on Thursday morning.
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Raji was speaking about the menace of vote-buying ahead of the Saturday governorship election in Osun State.
Vote-buying has become one of the greatest challenges during elections in Nigeria as the last month’s governorship poll in Ekiti State was marred with massive buying and selling of votes.
But while speaking on Thursday, Prof. Raji said, “As far as vote-buying is concerned, let me tell you that INEC can not prevent vote-buying. We can only make efforts to ensure that people are discouraged from doing it through voter education and sensitization which we have been doing extensively.
“Vote-buying and selling is a criminal offense and INEC is not a security agency that can make arrests. We can only inform the security agents when it [vote-buying] is taking place. Then, they (the perpetrators) will be arrested and prosecution will take place where we will be joined.
“I am always surprised when people are talking about vote-buying and selling and they expect INEC to be able to stop it, an act that has nothing to do with the mandate of the management of an election.