• Politicians should woo voters with their programmes •Police: politicians should allow INEC to do its work•
Act of vote buying by politicians who are desperate to win elections at all cost will dislocate the electoral process and pose grave danger to democracy
Resident Electoral Commissioner for Rivers State, Obo Effanga, told stakeholders at an interactive session, in Port Harcourt, that politicians should woo the voters with their programmes rather than resort to vote-buying.
“The voter is the king maker. Political parties should sell their programmes to the people rather than buying votes. Vote-buying can obstruct the electoral process and pose grave danger to democracy.”
He warned: “Those who sell their votes sell their rights. INEC will not allow politicians and their agents to turn the polling units into a trading post.”
“Vote-buying around the polling units can spark violence and violence is unacceptable in politics. Politicians should be mindful of those they appoint as agents to avoid collusion with their political opponents.”
Effanga asked politicians to appoint only agents that are committed to their political parties and have implicit confidence in the candidates of the parties.
He stated that about 25, 000 people are expected to vote in 132 polling units at the Saturday, August 18, Rivers State House of Assembly by-election for Port Constituency 3, out of the 53, 242 eligible voters’ that have collected their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC’s).
Effanga said 109, 184 people were registered as voters for Port Harcourt Constituency 3, as at December 31, 2017.
Also speaking at the event, the Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, asked politicians to allow INEC officials to do their job, as he called on youths to shun all acts of violence during elections.
“We are all brothers and sisters. Elections should not be do-or-die affair. We all live in the same society so why engage in violence because of elections?”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (operations) Stephen Aso, who represented the Commissioner of Police, asked politicians to enjoin their supporters to eschew violence during the elections.