The Independent National Electoral Commission has employed the services of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission to monitor the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, while speaking during the quarterly consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja on Tuesday, said the commission sought the help of the two organisations to curb vote-buying and other electoral offences.
He said: “The tradition of the commission if for the chairman of INEC and the inspector general of police to address stakeholders a few days to the election, but this time around we decided to break with tradition, over a month to election in the two states, I personally visited Yenagoa and Lokoja and addressed the stakeholders and visited some local government areas.
“We plan to have more engagements. On the 7th of November, the IGP and I will be in Bayelsa to address the stakeholders. We’ll repeat the same thing in Lokoja on the 11th of November. Our objective is to speak early and loudly enough to all stakeholders on the necessity for peaceful conducts during campaigns, election day activities, to collation of results, declaration of winners and the aftermath.
“Electioneering campaigns have already begun, the appeal of the commission, once again, to political parties is to speak to your candidates and supporters and to advise them against hate speech, inciting statements, physical attacks on opponents, destruction of each other’s’ campaign materials and other sundry violations of the Electoral Act.
“Of course, voter harassment, voter intimidation, including vote buying at polling units, constitutes violations of the Electoral Act. Prohibition of the use of mobile phones by voters in the voting cubicles is still in force. We are going to deepen our collaboration with the EFCC and the ICPC in this respect. They will keep an eye on the movement of cash during electioneering campaigns and on election day.”