The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed how vote-buying will be tackled during the July 16 governorship election in Osun State.
INEC Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said strategies have been put in place to correct all the loopholes identified in the Ekiti State governorship election.
Okoye stated this while speaking on Channels Television Sunrise Daily programme on Monday.
He said, “Currently, the commission is training supervising presiding officers, presiding officers and assistant presiding officers and it’s one of the issues that have been keyed into their training – the issue of the positioning of the cubicles – to make sure that we guarantee the secrecy of the vote.
“The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission is in Osogbo and he is going to visit some local governments to assess their state of readiness.
“Not only that, he is also going to visit some polling unit where we are going to do mock accreditations. So, the positioning of some of these cubicles will also be assessed.”
He disclosed that issue of vote-buying was top on the table during the meeting with security agencies.
“The security agencies are going to increase their surveillance and also be robust in terms of making sure that people do not go to the various polling units to go and corrupt the electorate,” Okoye said.
Speaking on hoarding PVC, Okoye said, “For those who attempt to hawk our PVCs, the moment the commission is satisfied that a prima-face case has been established against these people, we are definitely going to proceed against them.
“For instance in Osun State, there were some staff of the commission and corps members who were in charge of PVC distribution, who were hoarding those PVCs and were trying to divert those PVCs, we are definitely going to prosecute them the moment the security agencies conclude their investigation.
“I want to assure the Nigerian people that those trying to hawk or hoard the PVCs, that those PVCs will be useless to them because the data of each registered voter is domiciled in the BIVAS for each polling unit.
“So, the moment you get to the polling unit, even if you have the card, the BIVAS must read their fingerprint and must read their facials before you can vote.
“So, if you have 100 PVCs at your disposal, the only thing you can do is that you engage in voter suppression. In other words, those who have those PVCs (the owners) will not vote.”