From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
The Kano state Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Riskuwa Arabu Shehu on Tuesday charged politicians and political stakeholders in the state to shun any form of electoral malpractice in the 2019 general elections, particularly, the issue of vote buying and selling of Permanent Voters Card (PVC).
Shehu, who addressed journalists shortly after a stakeholders’ meeting at Mambayya House, described vote buying and PVC selling as ugly trends that destroy the country’s electoral process and political development.
He said INEC has devised new strategy to ensure free and fair elections in 2019.
According to him, “the menace of vote buying is a new phenomenon that cropped up after it is clear that it is no longer easy to rig elections in Nigeria. INEC will do its possible best to ensure that nobody buys vote in the 2019 general elections.
“It is very disheartening that somebody would sell his civic right to vote for good leaders, just for a peanut of N5000 or N10, 000. I urge the security agencies, media and politicians to help INEC fight this menace of vote buying. The general public should understand the implication of vote buying.”
The INEC boss also lamented the issue of selling of Permanent Voters Card (PVC), particularly in Kano, stating that, “we heard the rumour of selling of PVCs in Kano. We have reported it to security agencies and we are not taking it lightly.”
He also stated that INEC in Kano has concluded plans for the display of voters’ register to ensure adequate screening of eligible voters in the state.
According to him, “the purpose of the display of the register is to address the removal of the following ineligible voters among others—deceased registered voters, non-Nigerians, registrants with still pictures, under-aged voters and multiple registrations.”
He added that, “although the Commission has dutifully cleaned up the register using the Automatic Fingerprint System (AFIS), it is the right of citizens under the law to examine the register and exercise their civic duty by drawing the attention of the Commission to the inclusion of any ineligible persons so that together, we can further clean up the register. I therefore, appeal to the general public to take advantage of this opportunity.”