The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said there is a limit to what it can do in terms of curtailing vote buying during elections in the country.
The INEC Commissioner representing Niger, Kogi and Kwara States in North Central Nigeria, Professor Mohammed Sani Adam, made the assertions in Minna, Niger State during a visit to monitor the ongoing voter registration exercise in the state.
Prof Adam explained that vote buying is a national issue, a sociological problem and is a dimension to jeopardize the process of credible elections in Nigeria.
” There are the anti-corruption agencies like the ICPC and the EFCC, and other security apparatus basically saddled with the responsibility of monitoring criminal activities, ours is to conduct elections not monitor criminals”
“INEC has nothing to do as far as vote buying is concerned, what INEC can only do is to ensure that the polls are free, fair and all-encompassing, and also to ensure that polling units, security, materials and the process of the polling are fully observed according to the electoral act,” he noted.
The INEC Commissioner also cautioned religious and traditional leaders across the country on the need to advise their subjects to desist from selling their votes during elections while advising politicians to always form the habit of accepting defeat during elections.
” The problem with most politicians in the country is they don’t always look at political offices as service to the Fatherland but as a means of selfish aggrandisement or acquiring wealth as the only business of the day, and that necessitated winning elections by all means,”.Prof. Adam stated.
He further revealed that more funds have been released to enhance activities of INEC across Nigeria, to meet up with the 31st July dateline of closing the voter registration.
Prof. Adam commended the effort of people in Niger State on the massive turning out for the voter registration exercise, adding that the Commission has set up a special scheme to ensure all IDPs across the country are captured to participate in the general elections.