The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) Election Analysis Centre (EAC) CDD-EAC has said voters received as low as N500 to sell their votes in Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State.
The CDD Director Idayat Hassan and CDD Senior Fellow, Prof. Ibrahim Jibrin said this in the preliminary report on the conduct of the election.
“In our report on Friday, we noted the extensive use of financial inducements to affect the outcome of the elections as election officials were offered $1,000 each to buy their conscience. Today (Saturday), we noted direct financial incentives to voters who were offered money before and after voting.
“Notwithstanding that INEC enlisted the EFCC and the ICPC to assist in curtailing vote-buying, vote-buying was very rampant across the state. CDD observers reported that party agents in several polling units engaged in the financial inducement of voters to influence them to vote for the parties. The cost of a vote ranges between N500 and N3,000,” Hassan said.
She said that in many polling units, observers and journalists were blocked from access and taking photographs in what appears to be an attempt to prevent the gathering of evidence of electoral malpractices.
According to her, CDD EAC observers reported coordinated disruption of voting across many polling units with hired thugs invading Polling Units, shooting sporadically to scare away voters, and in several cases carting away voting materials.
She lamented that the heavy presence of security was not enough as a countermeasure to deter trouble makers bent on using violence to subvert the process, with observers and journalists harassed and attacked in several instances.
She said a CDD observer was injured in Ayingba Ward 004 with a broken bottle, while one of their media partners was harassed and his phone seized for trying to take a picture off the APC senatorial candidate giving money to two older women who stood by his convoy.
She said voters were also followed into the voting cubicles and forcefully coerced, to vote for candidates against their wishes, thus undermining the integrity of the electoral process.
She also raised concern over fake news and disinformation with fake results and photographs of incidences being circulated to undermine the process.