The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has restated its vow to discourage vote buying as it promised to enhance its campaign against the practice of inducement of voters in the country.
Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, chairman of the Commission, stated this at an event by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Thursday.
The event was for FRSC Commanding Officers on strategic goals and issues of general elections held in Abuja.
He said that vote buying and inducement was a menace that was detrimental to democratic principle.
“We have heard about vote buying; the response is greater sensitisation so that people will not surrender their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) to vote buyers.
“I appeal to media organisations to help us sensitise the public in that respect and the security agents should help in making arrests.”
He explained that the election would be conducted in 1,558 constituencies with 73 candidates contesting in the Presidential election billed for Feb. 16.
“We have 1,066 candidates vying for 29 governorship positions; 1,904 candidates competing for 109 senatorial districts.
“Also, 4,680 candidates are vying for 360 House of Representatives Federal Constituencies while 14,785 candidates are contesting for 991 State Constituencies,” the chairman said.
He said that the party primaries for the nomination of candidates to various positions had been “the most acrimonious ever in the history of Nigeria’s democracy”.
Yakubu said that from the primaries and congresses held between August 2018 and January the commission had so far been joined in 639 cases in court.
He added that no fewer than a million Nigerians have registered as ad hoc staff for the conduct of the exercise.
The chairman further said that provisions had been made for albinos and Persons With Disabilities to cast their votes with ease during the elections.