Naira scarcity: Politicians buy vote with wrappers, others – Action Aid
L- R Program Manager, Governance Celestine Odo and Director of Programs Action Aid Suwaiba Muhammad Dankabo, during the news conference in Abuja. Photo Credit: Julian Osamoto/ Radio Nigeria
The Naira scarcity experienced in recent time in the country, has pushed politicians to buying vote in Kano and other states with wrappers, food items among other sourveinairs.
The Programs Director Governance in ActionAid Mr Celestine Odo during a mid day election briefing on Saturday in Abuja said these were some of the findings by their election observers during the voting exercise.
In States like, Rivers and Enugu. “we did not see much of cash exchange, what we saw was vote buying with wrappers, food items, chicken and other materials. pockets of violence were recorded in Rivers, Kano and Lagos state as observed in 10 locations accross the states monitored”
He regretted that the turnout was low this was because, as at 10am there were only few voters on the queue in some polling units, a development which could be attributed to what happened during the last election.
On the BVAS functionality, Mr Odo, mentioned that 80percent of the BVAS was functioning adequately compared to the previous elections.
The Director Resource Mobilization Action Aid Andrew Mamedu noted that election is the only way citizens can elect their representatives.
PWDs fault INEC for inadequate assistive devices
In a related development, the Albino Foundation (TAF-Africa) on Saturday decried the inadequate deployment of assistive devices at the polling units in the March 18th Governorship and State Assembly elections.
Board chair, TAF Africa Prof. Vincent Anigbogu, said 75 per cent of the polling units observed by the organisation had no braile ballot guides for visually impaired person’s, 87 per cent PUs had no magnifying glasses for person’s with Albinism and 63 per cent had no large font graphic posters for the deaf .
He however confirmed that TAF Africa’s observation of the election showed prompt arrival of INEC officials and commencement of polls even though there were shortage of election material in some areas .
“Given the emerging issues, TAF Africa’s PWDs Election Hub makes the following recommendations; INEC should investigate the reason for the inadequate deployment of assistive tools to polling units with registered PWDs which can disenfranchise them.
While commending the community of disabilities, for their commitment towards exercising their franchise,. TAF Africa called on security agencies, INEC, other stakeholders and political parties to work together in ensuring hitchfree elections in the future.
CODE condenns attacks on voters
Similarly, Connected Development CODE has condemned the attacks and suppression of voters in a number of polling units across the country. The Executive Director CODE Mallam Hamzat Lawal stated this while briefing Journalists in Abuja, on the UZABE reports of the gubernatorial and state assembly elections.Lawal affirmed that report received from Ebonyi State, revealed that “an accredited Uzabe field observer, Uzodimma Lucy Ogodo was brutally attacked for refusing to vote for a particular party”.”This is unacceptable and against the tenets of democracy which we strive so hard to maintain as a nation. we are calling on security agencies to act swiftly and ensure justice is served”. Also, based on the reports of our field observers, there are other pockets of violence that have surfaced in numerous polling units across the country. “For example, in Lagos State, Ojo/Iba LCDA Local Govt Area, Polling unit: Princess Eneni Street, Victory Estate, Polling unit code: 091, was attacked by party hoodlums, the pregnant wife of CODE Lagos State Lead was attacked and is currently recuperating. Lawal who commended INEC for early commencement of polls that in 79% of polling units, also said the functionality of the BVAS in this election was impressive. Lawal who expressed worry over the various incidents of violence, intimidation, inducement that marred the state elections, urged security agencies to live up to expectation by providing security to electorates before, during and after elections
Reporting by Julian Osamoto