The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Osun State has hinted that food vendors located around polling units would not be allowed to operate during voting hours on election days in the state to curb vote buying .
Speaking at the Correspondents ’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalist in Osogbo , on Tuesday, Agbaje said the ban became necessary because of the discovery that such shops were mostly used by vote buyers during the last governorship election in the State .
While soliciting the support of newsmen and the general public in waging war against vote buying by alerting the security on any suspicious move to buy peoples’ votes , Agbaje said his Commission is doing everything possible to curtail the dastardly act.
“ We discovered that vote buyers used the advantage of food vendors to share money during the last governorship election . We would not allow them to open during voting hours in the coming elections.
He revealed that the commission has distributed 1 ,266 ,587 Permanent Voters ’ Cards , PVCs, which is 75 . 38 percent , out of 1 ,680 , 498 registered voters in Osun state, remaining 413 , 606 uncollected PVCs.
Agbaje who also disclosed that the state received 1 ,680 , 193 PVCs from the headquarters , stated that uncollected ones would be taken to the central bank.
He said the commission has tried to curtail vote buying in the state, noting that the person that was arrested in connection with the act during the last gubernatorial election , has been taken to the court .
“ The media should help us escalate and warn politicians not to distribute money to the electorates. If politicians keep to the rules of the games, INEC is ready to keep to the rules of the games. ’’
On the card reader , Agbaje said the commission has trained its staffs that will handle the card reader and technical experts have been deployed to each local government in case of any malfunction .
He stated that the commission has met all the contestants , about 75 , in the state, insisting that INEC ’s efforts are being frustrated by politicians who want to win the election at all cost .
He thereby called on politicians to learn from other countries like Ireland where elections are being conducted without security or party agents.
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