2019 Election: Stakeholders want vote buyers, sellers prosecuted

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The special forum of the anti-corruption situation room session of the Human and Environmental Development agenda (HEDA) and other stakeholders yesterday in Abuja said anyone engaged in vote-buying and selling should be prosecuted.

The theme of the forum was “Taming Money Politics: Monetisation of Electoral Process and Menace of Vote Trading”.

Speaking on mobilising political parties, actors and electorate for vigilance against vote trading, Coordinator of a civil society organisation, YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo, said while the conduct of elections in Nigeria had improved, poverty had been a major factor contributing to voter inducement.

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He said citizens at the grassroots must be enlightened on the dangers of selling their votes; while political parties must be punished when found engaging in the act.

He also accused government at all levels of engaging in vote-buying using state apparatus and agencies to perpetrate the act which he said security agencies had failed to address.

Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Anthony Ojukwu, said citizens were yet to be involved in the anti-graft campaign, stressing the need for mass mobilization against vote-buying and other corrupt acts.

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He described corruption as Nigeria’s greatest challenge, saying until all citizens were fully involved in making the country great, corruption would continue to be a challenge.

The Director General of the National orientation agency, Garba Abari, said the agency was already partnering with the Christian Association of Nigeria and the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs to create a pan-Nigerian coalition against corruption.

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