The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued a warning to politicians intending to buy votes at the February presidential election.
According to INEC, it is working with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to make sure that the act is curbed.
The commission described vote-in-exchange for money as a cankerworm that had eaten deep into the country’s political system.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Rivers State, Johnson Alalibo Sinikiem, spoke on Monday in Port Harcourt at the opening ceremony of the 2023 Week of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Speaking on the theme of the Correspondents’ Week: “Media Vigilance Ahead of Peaceful 2023 Election In Rivers State”, Sinikiem said the electoral body had sensitised the youths in various villages in the country to monitor and report anyone involved in vote-buying.
Sinikiem, who was represented by the Head, Voter Education and Publicity, Mark Usulo, said in the new Electoral Act, anyone found with another person’s Permanent Voter Card (PVC) risked a jail term.
He said the security agencies, especially the Nigerian Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) had been briefed to watch out for people in possession of others’ PVCs.
The REC, who called on the media to ensure accurate reportage of INEC activities before, during and after the general elections, said the electoral body would ensure free, fair, credible and peaceful poll.