The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said the growing trend of violence and vote-buying during elections have become a threat to Nigeria’s electoral process.
The chairman, board of INEC Institute, Soyebi Adedeji, stated this yesterday in Abuja at a public presentation of the election findings by Nessaction.
He admitted that the just concluded governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states were marred by violence and vote-buying, and that the people who were used to perpetrate the actions were mostly youths.
“We will not fold our arms and pretend that we did not see it by not admitting that there was violence in the last two elections and it is a new trend. We must be honest enough to admit that the elections were marred by violence, especially in Kogi State.
“Anybody in Kogi will agree that Kogi was more violent than Bayelsa. In fact, somebody said the number of bullets flying in Kogi State were more than ballot papers.
“The will of the people is supreme and this cannot be exchanged for violence, another aspect that is glaring without issuing a report is the issue of exchange of vote for money.
“In spite of all we have done to discourage vote-buying, it looks as if we have not done anything because people were willing to go there to buy and sell their votes,” he said.
He noted that if youths could channel their energies towards developing the country’s democracy life will be better for them than the new trend of violence that is beginning to emerge.