Monday, March 20, 2023



‘N1k cash, spaghetti, drinks’ — Yiaga Africa speaks on vote buying across states

‘N1k cash, spaghetti, drinks’ — Yiaga Africa speaks on vote buying across states
March 18
17:01 2023

Yiaga Africa says it has observed cases of vote buying in eight states amid the ongoing governorship and state houses of assembly elections across the country.

Speaking on Saturday at a media briefing in Abuja, Ezenwa Nwagwu, Yiaga Africa board member, said the organisation received up to 15 confirmed reports of vote-buying.

He said voters were offered cash and materials such as “wrappers and packs of spaghetti”.

“Yiaga Africa received 15 confirmed reports of vote buying across eight states,” Nwagwu said.


“In Sarkin Mudu Polling Unit (016) in Giade LGA of Bauchi, PDP agents have been sighted bribing accredited voters with a thousand naira, a wrapper, and a pack of spaghetti each.

“The voters hand over their ballot papers to party agents in exchange for the bribe. A similar report was received from PU 006 Rangan Ward, Warji LGAof Bauchi on the distribution of wrappers, two thousand naira, and a pack of spaghetti to voters.

“Party agents for the APC and PDP party are reported to have shared food, cash, and alcoholic drinks to some voters. This happened in Apir market square 1, Makurdi, Benue state. In PU O6 Ward 05 Isoko North, Delta State, INEC officials for the polling unit received cash gift from the APC party agent present.”


He also said there have been widespread incidences of voter intimidation and harassment, adding that the setup in some polling units did not consider the condition of persons with disabilities (PWDs) who might not be able to climb elevated platforms.

“In 20 percent, 25 percent, and 44 percent of polling units in Benue, Delta, and Kano, individuals had to climb steps or cross over gutters to access the polling units, which made it difficult for persons with disabilities,” he said.

“As of 1pm, the Yiaga Africa WTV data centre received 54 verified critical incident reports primarily concerning the intimidation and harassment of voters, disruption of voting, and destruction of election materials.

“Observers reported intimidation and harassment of voters. In Kankarofi Quranic Sch III Polling Unit, Kano Municipal LGA in Kano state, party agents disrupted the voting process on if the voting should be closed ballot as opposed to open ballot.


“Reports of intimidation of voters were also received from Ijando and ward 6/001 Akefan community in Alimosho and LGA in Lagos state.

“In PU 06 Ward 03 Ndokwa West in Delta State, an APC party agent prevented a Yiaga Africa observer from observing the process, stating that the LGA is under the control of the APC. Also, in Buhari Islamiyya School II Polling Unit, Madungurun Ward, Gwale LGA, Kano State, our observer was attacked by party agents.”

Nwagwu, however, added that there was an improvement in the management of election logistics as early commencement of accreditation and voting was recorded.

He recommended that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should “take urgent remedial actions in polling units where cases of infractions and non-compliance with the 2022 Electoral Act and INEC guidelines have been reported”.


“This will deepen the legitimacy of the final outcome of elections. Security agencies should respond promptly to reports of voter intimidation and attacks at the polling unit to accord citizens the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to vote,” he said.

“INEC should ensure strict compliance with the guidelines for the results collation. Specifically, party agents and accredited media and election observers should be granted access to the collation centres.


“Collation officers should verify the results on the hardcopy results sheets and results transmitted with the BVAS during results collation.”



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