The Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje, has announced the plans of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ban the use of phones at polling units.
Speaking at Osogbo during a meeting held with governorship candidates, their running mates and party officials on Thursday, he said INEC, in collaboration with security agents, will do everything to prevent vote buying at the governorship election scheduled for September 22
The REC, who alleged that phones were used to aid vote buying, accused voters of using their phones to take photographs of their ballots and showing them to politicians as evidence, in exchange for money in past elections.
Calling on all stakeholders to cooperate with INEC to conduct a credible election in the state, he said 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.
Further pointing out that vote buying is an electoral offence, Agbaje promised that the emerging trend would be curbed, noting that the fight against electoral fraud required the support of all stakeholders and security agents.
“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 land.
“That is why we want 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."
Chairman of the Restoration Party of Nigeria, Mr Tosin Odeyemi, appealed to INEC to ensure that its ad hoc staff are non-partisan in order not to rubbish the efforts of the commission.
Agbaje was the REC who conducted the governorship election in the state in 2014, before he was transferred to Ondo State and brought back again.