The growing trend of voters’ inducement ahead of September 22 governorship election in Osun is worrisome.
An election observer and monitoring group, the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA Africa), made the assertion on Thursday in Osogbo, the state capital.
The group Project Director, Cynthia Mbamalu, spoke at a media briefing on its pre-election observation findings and election observation.
Ms Mbamalu said the group, in its pre-election findings, observed that voters’ inducement through the distribution of money and gifts was visible in the state.
She said there was urgent need for all electoral actors to intensify campaign to discourage the act of voter bribery before and during the election.
Ms Mbamalu, however, said political parties have the most role to play in curbing the trend of voters’ inducement and vote-buying.
She also urged political parties and their candidates to act within the ambits of the law and promote a positive political culture that would enhance peaceful election.
While urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to sustain voter education, Ms Mbamalu urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to invest in voter education as part of its mandate.
She advised electorate who have yet to collect their permanent voter cards to do so to enable them to perform their civil duty on the day of the election.
Besides, Ms Mbamalu said the group, as a way of promoting electoral integrity, had trained 60 trainers and would be deployed to all the 30 local government areas of the state.
She said that the trainers would in turn train 500 Watching the Vote Polling Units observers and 32 roving observers.
Ms Mbamalu said the group’s Watching the Vote Project would deployed the parallel Vote Tabulation methodology, which uses statistical principles, Information and Communication Technologies to provide systematic data on the quality of election day processes.