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2019 Elections: What we will do to People who buy votes on Saturday

2019 elections

2019 Elections: What we will do to People who buy votes on Saturday

The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Delta, Dr Cyril Omorogbe, on Tuesday, reiterated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has zero tolerance to vote buying and other electoral malpractices.

Omorogbe restated this at a stakeholders’ meeting held in collaboration with security agencies, under the auspices of `Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES)’ for 2019 General Elections in Asaba.

He said that vote buying constitutes an offence under section 130(a-b) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

The REC explained that the offence attracts penalties ranging from fines of N100,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both.

“The commission is working closely with security agencies and we are determined to exterminate this scourge that seeks to undermine our democracy.

“To this end, security agencies under the auspices of ICCES had perfected strategies to checkmate all manner of electoral malfeasance, particularly any attempt to hinder the peaceful conduct of the 2019 general election,’’ he said.

Omorogbe also called on traditional rulers to desist from partisanship.

“While our royal fathers are not encumbered in any way from freely expressing their choice on election day as provided for by the Electoral Act and Guidelines and Regulation governing election, it is, however, morally questionable to openly endorse or even canvass for vote for preferred candidates.

“As revered custodian of our cultural heritage, it amounts to a betrayal of the trust reposed in such high office and ultimately fuel division among their subjects,’’ he said.

He, therefore, appealed to them to help the commission in its resolve to conduct peaceful and acceptable elections in the state.

Omorogbe said that apart from the commission’s commitment to zero tolerance for corruption, all officials, including poll staff, were being closely monitored.

According to him, the commission will not hesitate to sanction anyone found wanting in the conduct of the elections in the state.

“I am sure you are aware that 200 staff of the commission were presently in court for misconduct,” he said.

He also said that any party agent not fully accredited would not be allowed to come near a polling unit or collation centre.

On the allegation that card readers had been adulterated, Omorogbe said: “Our card readers cannot be adulterated, it is difficult for anyone to replicate what INEC has.”

On the need for INEC to be neutral during the conduct of the general elections, Omorogbe noted that the process of election has gone far beyond what it used to be.

The REC advised politicians to beware of hearsay during and after the elections.

Earlier, the State Chairman of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mr Oke Idawehe, had alleged that the card readers had been adulterated.

Mr Green Aziza, State Chairman of Alternative Party of Nigeria (APN), appealed to INEC to ensure free and fair election by not allowing it to be used by politicians

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