YIAGA Africa, an election monitoring group, has said that Saturday's governorship election in Ondo State was characterised by voting-buying and inducement of voters.

Aisha Abdullahi, Co-chairperson of YIAGA Africa, and her counterpart, Ezenwa Nwagwu, made the disclosure while updating journalists in Akure, the state capital, on the exercise. 

The group said its observers deployed to monitor the exercise noticed massive vote-buying in five local government areas of Ondo. 

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YIAGA Africa also accused security agencies, who were deployed to provide security at the polling units, of collaborating with vote buyers to induce the electorate. 

The group said, "Yiaga Africa received reports of vote-buying from Akure South LGA, Ose, Ondo West, Ilaje, and Akure North. 

"Across several polling units, the secrecy of the ballot was severely compromised despite attempts by polling officials to prevent voters and party agents from showing how ballot papers were marked.

"These electoral offenses occurred in the presence of security personnel who did not attempt in some cases to reprimand the culprits.

"In St. Paul’s Anglican Primary School, 001 of Ifon 1 ward in Ose LGA, party agents accompanied voters to the voting cubicle to see how they marked their ballots.

"In Ajegunle Erumana LA School 012 of Aheri Ward, Ilaje, voters showed how they marked their ballots to polling agents that were stationed at the polling unit. 

"Vote-buying was also reported in Polling Unit 007, Ward 9 in Oba-Ile, Akure North LGA."

The election monitoring group commended the Independent National Electoral Commission for the timely arrival of election materials at polling units in the state, noting that the development was an improvement to the Edo election. 

The group noted that violence was also recorded in some polling units in the state during the exercise, which led to the delay in early commencement of voting in some areas. 

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