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Police Promises To Go After Vote Buyers Come 2023 Election

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba says the police has devised strategies to arrest and prosecute politicians moving on election days with tonnes of cash for vote buying. He clearly stated this on Monday in Abuja at a one-day Stakeholders Summit on Addressing the Influence of Money on the 2023 General Election.

“Concerted efforts are being made by the Nigeria police as the lead agency in electoral security management to ensure that the use of money is not allowed to influence the 2023 general elections.

“We will ensure that at least, this menace is brought to the barest minimum.

“We will achieve this in synergy with sister security agencies, anti-graft and intelligence agencies and other stakeholders”, he said. The inspector of police, represented by his Assistant Inspector General of Police, Operations, Bala Ciroma said already, a lot of arrest have been made of persons buying voter registration cards to rig the 2023 elections. He added that some political thugs have also been arrested and are being prosecuted in courts.

“We will also ensure that the police X-Squad, intelligence officers and investigators are moved to the field to ensure that politicians moving on election days to buy votes are apprehended and dealt with according to the provisions of the law,” he added. The I-G said the Force had embedded intelligence officers during political rallies to identify with precision, persons encouraging and perpetrating violence.“Let me state again emphatically that the use of money during the 2023 elections is unacceptable and we will do all we can within the confines of the law to bring the offenders to book.

“Some politicians spend huge sums of money to get elected to office, thus their priority having been elected is to recoup the money they spent during the election.“The consequence of this is that, those elected provide poor governance and deny the public the benefit of good governance, as they most likely are not the best candidates.

“When elections are influenced by money, credibility of the process is questioned. This leads to rancour and the possibility of violence after the elections.” Baba said the police was also ready to deal with sponsors of violence before, during and after the elections.“Some politicians often use money to sponsor restive youths who are readily available and willing to be mobilised as political thugs and to wreak mayhem on opponents and voters.

Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) described vote buying as a major obstacle to free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.Bawa who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Hadiza Zubairu, urged all Nigerians desirous of a better future not to be cajoled into relinquishing their right to good governance.

He said Nigerians must make deliberate and concerted efforts to make informed choices during the elections.“We must collectively work to ensure we change the narrative around the current practice of deceptive election, otherwise that will not only translate to flawed political recruitment process, but will result in a great disservice to our dear country, Nigeria. “We have consistently witnessed the continuous exploitation of a large section of the society by politicians who succeed in cajoling the vulnerable electorates to trade in their votes for a paltry sum,” Bawa said.

He alsoexpressed concern that the vulnerable have continued to remain oblivious of the consequence of vote selling.“They fail to realize that when they sell their votes, they also give up their rights to demand for transparency and accountability from the elected leaders.

“A faulty and corrupt electoral process emboldened incompetent and corrupt government. They don’t have to care about our feelings and our complaints.“In such a situation, impunity will reign and corruption will thrive. This is what this conversation is designed to prevent from happening.

“We may not get it 100% right but the journey of 1000 miles must begin with the first step and this is the major big step we have taken, ” he said.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit was organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission in collaboration with National Broadcasting commission, EFCC, ICPC among others.

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