“Vote-buying has taken a frightening dimension”, but he assured that INEC had put in place measures to tackle the challenge.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakub, has said that vote-buying in election by agents of political parties in the country was scary.
The INEC Chairman also said that the commission may be forced to consider alternative sources of funding for the 2019 elections if the National Assembly failed to consider to pass the supplementary budget of N242 billion which was sent to the National Assembly before they proceeded on annual vacation. Speaking at the bi-annual retreat of the State House Corps hosted by Lagos State government in Epe Resorts, yesterday, the INEC boss assured that next year’s elections will be the best ever in the country.
While making reference to the ongoing amendment of the Electoral Act pending in the National Assembly, he said that any law that was not passed six months before election was null and void. “Well, as you know, we work with rules and the 2018 Electoral Act is expected to guide the conduct of the 2019 general election, but we may not be able to use it unless it comes six months before the general election”, he said.
“We need a budget to be able to run the election, any law that does not come into effect six months before the election cannot apply to the 2019 elections.” The INEC Chairman, represented by the Resident Electoral Commission, REC, in Lagos State, Mr. Samuel Olumekun, expressed worries over vote-buying, describing it as “ worrisome” .
He said, “Vote-buying has taken a frightening dimension” , but he assured that INEC had put in place measures to tackle the challenge.
According to him, the commission was walking a tight rope over fundings ahead of next year’s election because of the non passage of the supplementary budget by the National Assembly before going on vacation. Yakub, however, assured that the electoral body will have to seek other sources of funding to ensure that the country has a very successful election.
He said, “As you know, our procurement process is very cumbersome and, to make a procurement, it may take up to four months and this may affect what we are doing at INEC.
“But we may be forced to look at other sources of funding so that our preparation for the 2019 elections is not affected”. He also noted that INEC has an extensive process of preparations for every election, adding that “when we are not conducting election, we are out there educating the people”.