Ahead Of Osun Governorship Elections, INEC Meets With Candidates, Their Running Mates, Party Officials.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Osun State, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, has promised to work with Independent National Electoral Commission alongside security agents to ensure a free and fair September 22 governorship election in the state.
The REC, who gave the assurance in Osogbo today, held a meeting with the governorship candidates, their running mates and party officials as part of the preparations of the commission ahead of the poll.
While REC noted that some voters have been using camera to take photographs of their ballots and show the same photos to politicians in order to be paid for voting for them, it said that voters would not be allowed to use telephones to take photographs of their ballots.
Agbaje, who was the REC that conducted the August 2014 governorship election in the state before he was transferred to Ondo State and brought back again, said that INEC was determined to conduct a transparent and violence-free election in Osun State and therefore needed the cooperation of all stakeholders to achieve this.
He also stressed that vote-buying was an electoral offence, saying that emerging trends of electoral fraud would be curbed. He, however, noted that it required the support of all stakeholders and security agents.
Agbaje said, “We won’t allow people to go to the polling booths with their telephones. There won’t be anything to show that this is who they cast their votes for. We have security agents and they will not allow that. You will see our plan to curb this during the election.
“They said it was ‘vote and cook soup’ during Ekiti election, but they have changed it to ‘vote and buy land’ in Osun; but we won’t allow this. If you want to buy land, it won’t be from the money you will make during this election. You will need to look for other means to source money to buy the land.
“That is why we want you all candidates and party leaders to talk to your people to stop this. If you see anybody giving money to people during the election, alert security agents.”
As earlier reported by Naija News, INEC had expressed concerns that issues of vote buying might also come up in the Osun election just as it happened in Ekiti State.