INEC plans to check vote-buying, lauds ECES on credible polls

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that polling booths will henceforth be positioned in a way to make it difficult for people to see how voters cast their votes during elections.The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in charge of Anambra State, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka, said the measure was to make it impossible for anyone to know who a voter voted for.

Orji, who described vote-buying as another big threat to democracy that needed everyone to join hands with INEC to eradicate, said: “INEC cannot check the problem of vote-buying alone. It is a crime that security agents, members of the public who collect the money and politicians who buy the votes must come together to tackle.”The INEC chief also called on eligible persons who are yet to register in the on-going continuous voter’s registration in Anambra to do so before the August 17, 2018 deadline.

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Meanwhile, Special Adviser to Chairman of INEC, Prof. Muhammad Kuna, has lauded the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) for its continuous support in election affairs in Nigeria to enable her achieve credible, transparent, free and fair gubernatorial and presidential elections next year.Kuna, who spoke yesterday in Ede, Osun State, during a three-day workshop organised by ECES in conjunction with INEC for electoral officers, heads of departments and assistant electoral officers ahead of the September 22 governorship election in the state, urged the stakeholders to be pro-active to achieve laudable objectives during the election.

He said the Centre had demonstrated keen interest and in the forefront of providing the necessary facilities, training, materials and books for the success of previous elections in the country.

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In another development, an Ekiti-based renowned cleric, Prophet Olu Alo, has said that the greatest challenge confronting the nation ahead of 2019 is insecurity.He, therefore, warned President Muhammadu Buhari that next year’s general elections might involve killings if he fails to accord the nation’s security priority attention.

Alo, who spoke during the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) yearly spiritual programme at Erio-Ekiti Mountain yesterday, urged the President to tackle killings by herdsmen in particular.The cleric, who lamented that dastardly acts are now common among politicians, said: “Some politicians are desperate and blood-sucking leaders.”

Besides, an All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Rivers State, Senator Magnus Abe, has denounced a resort to gun violence ahead of the party’s primaries.Abe, who tasked the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to launch an investigation into the attack on a factional APC secretariat that was vandalised by suspected party thugs at the weekend, said last Saturday’s vandalisation of the party’s new secretariat by hoodlums and the whole idea of bringing guns into politics were to intimidate people and create fear in the minds of political rivals.

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However, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, has dismissed insinuation that the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, authorised the attack on the secretariat. Peterside said while it was not right for some aggrieved members to open a parallel office, it was even more heinous for anyone to attack the secretariat. According to him, Amaechi will never support anyone to take laws into their hands.

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