ICPC seeks solutions to vote-buying

                          ICPC seeks solutions to vote-buying

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Thursday said its research wing, the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN) will organise dialogue to find solutions to vote and results buying.

It said the measure is part of a long term to protect the sanctity of the nation’s electoral process.

These disclosures were made by the Provost of ACAN, Prof. Sola Akinrinade at a briefing in Abuja.

Akinrinade said: “The truth is that we are all living witnesses to the various challenges relating to our electoral process.

“It is almost an open knowledge that vote buying is a phenomenon that has been part and parcel of our electoral process, including when the nation adopted Option A4 system.

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“We are looking at addressing the issues at fundamental level. This is why we are holding a dialogue with all the stakeholders. There is also the phenomenon of results buying.

“When we finish with the dialogue, we will issue a policy brief which will guide the legislature at all levels to checkmate vote and results buying.”

While giving more insights into the dialogue, which will hold on Tuesday, Akinrinade said the nation cannot continue to do things the old ways.

He added: “The National Dialogue on Eradicating Electoral Corruption with focus on Vote Buying is very apt at this critical point.

“The electoral process is an important pillar of democracy. Therefore, corrupt practices in the process raise serious concerns.

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“While the 2019 elections have been conducted, the matters associated with them will continue to reverberate until the next elections in 2023.

“The regular contestation of the outcome of elections is a pointer to the need to address foundational issues relating to them.

“It is, therefore, intended that this Dialogue shall precipitate a policy framework that will guide the electorate, the election management body, political parties and anti-corruption agencies on reporting and dealing with vote buying in the electoral process.”

He explained why ICPC through ACAN was organizing policy dialogues.

“ACAN Policy Dialogues are designed to bring topical anticorruption issues to the fore of national discourse.

“The Dialogues seek to engender discussions that will aid the formulation or modification of policies and legislation on topical matters.

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“It is intended that the Policy Dialogues will focus on matters that require urgent attention because they lack either effective policy guidance or suitable legislative frameworks.

“The Dialogues will create an avenue to discuss key issues, share points of view and try to find common ground, agreement or consensus on the policy matter in focus.

“The ultimate goal of all our programming activities is to achieve critical reductions in corruption incidences in the polity through prevention.

“If we are to achieve sustainable development, then we must complement current enforcement measures in the war against corruption with effective prevention strategies.”

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