The Nigeria Police Force says vote buying in the ongoing Osun guber elections is like silent robbery, urging civilians and observers to notify police of any instances of money politics.
“Voting buying is a silent exercise, just like silent robbery,” Spokesperson Olumuyiwa Adejobi said to Peoples Gazette reporters in Osogbo. “It’s silent because the policeman is not a spirit, he’s not going to know unless his attention is brought to it.”
Mr Adejobi thus urged observers not to hesitate to alert the police wherever they notice vote trading during the election.
Joe Okei-Odumakin, President of Women Arise for Change Initiative also corroborated Mr Adejobi’s assertion.
“Although vote buying is silently done and is not done in the glare except for the overzealous ones, but from what we have observed there has not been any evidence of voting buying or selling,” Mrs Okei-Odumakin said.
She also observed an improvement in the election exercise.
“The materials and personnel arrived very early enough to the hands of the awaiting voters. We can also see how enthusiastic the voters are. We see the security personnel too who are conducting the voters in an orderly manner,” Mrs Okei-Odumakin said.
Mrs Okei-Odumakin noted the absence of voter intimidation at the polls.
“So far, there is nothing like intimidation with my observation so far. The way the voters are casting their votes is also very impressive because there is no way you monitor who they have voted for.”
The police’s comments come after the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Osun State, Professor Abdulganiyu Raji warned against money politics in the Osun governorship elections.
Mr Raji had noted the extension of the precinct of the polling units, previously at 10 metres and now stands at 300 metres, as the electoral body identified vote buying and insecurity as some of its major concerns ahead of the election in Osun state. Other concerns include cult clashes, attacks by political thugs and misinformation.
The Gazette had earlier reported that political parties had resorted to using food items and livestock to sway the electorate in its favour.