As part of measures to check the spate of vote buying and selling in the coming general elections in Kwara state, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that no one will be allowed to bring food items to polling centres.
It was learnt that politicians and their agents had reportedly hidden money inside food items to induce voters at poling centres in the past.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum in Ilorin on Thursday, Kwara state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Garba Madami, said that the electoral body now collaborates with anti-graft agencies like EFCC and ICPC to monitor vote buying and selling with determination to reduce it to the barest minimum.
Madami, who said that vehicles would not be allowed near polling centres during the election, added that, “You can’t bring in your phone to polling booth to snap picture of your ballot paper to show who you’ve voted for”.
He said that politicians had in the past brought in money in vehicles to polling centres to buy votes.
“Now, anti-graft agencies like the EFCC and the ICPC are now monitoring vote buyers and sellers because of our collaboration with them. That’s why money is not circulating in this campaign unlike before.
“More so, our card readers and PVC are working well now. And that’s why politicians are desperate to go for vote buying. If we succeed in this, we would have credible election”, he said.
The REC, who said that February 8, 2019 is the last day for PVC collection, added that there are over 300,000 outstanding PVCs yet to be collected in the state.
He said that voting would take place in a total of 2,886 polling points across the state, adding that no one would be disenfranchised in the election as long as they possess PVC for voting.
Madami also said that pregnant women, old people and physically challenged ones would be given preference to vote without queuing up, adding that political parties and voters would not be allowed to carry arms during the election except their PVCs.
He said that number of political parties that had signed peace accord with the electoral body had risen to 29 and cautioned political parties to be mindful of their actions, speeches in order not to cause violence before, during and after the elections.