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Stakeholders worry over vote buying in Kogi by-election

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Casting a vote during Nigerian elections. Photo The Guardian

Stakeholders have expressed concerns over vote buying that characterised the recent Ekiti State governorship election in next month’s Lokoja/Kotonkarfe constituency by-election in Kogi State.

They raised the alarm at a meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lokoja, the state capital.

Deputy Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Buba Jibrin, had died in March 2018, necessitating a rerun election in the Lokoja/Kotokarfe federal constituency.

Most of the participants who spoke to The Guardian, expressed concerns that the desperation with which the Ekiti election was won and lost, may be brought to bear on the Kogi bye-election slated for August 11, 2018.

Representative of Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Lokoja Catholic Diocese, Simon Enejo, urged INEC to ensure that secret ballot system was reinforced at the polling units to shield voters from vote buyers who may want to ensure that they actually vote for their candidates before payment.

Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Professor James Apam, said the commission learnt from the Ekiti election and assured that INEC would try as much as possible to shield voters from vote buyers who may be hanging around to see whether the voter actually vote for their preferred candidates.


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