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OrderPaper: Systemic vote buying high in state polls

OrderPaper: Systemic vote buying high in state polls
March 19
10:06 2023

OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative (OAI), a not-for-profit organisation, says its observers deployed to monitor the governorship and house of assembly elections, said there were cases of systemic vote buying in some states.

The elections were conducted in 28 states across the country on March 18. 

In its interim statement on the elections signed by Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq, communications lead, VOTER Project, OrderPaper said there was an improvement in the arrival of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials for the polls compared to the presidential and national assembly elections.

The organisation said its observers deployed across the country reported that accreditation and voting commenced early in most of the sampled polling units with the average time of arrival and opening of polling units being 9 am in many parts of the country.


It said the voting process was described as largely smooth and peaceful by its citizen observers, especially in select polling units in states like Kebbi, Anambra, Oyo, Nasarawa, and Niger.

However, OrderPaper said there were reports of low voter turnout “resulting from voter intimidation by thugs, political party agents and voter apathy linked to perceived mismatch of voting and results announced in the February 25 Presidential and National assembly elections”.

“States such as Enugu, Niger, Plateau, Ekiti, Osun, Bayelsa, Kaduna, Nassarawa, Adamawa, Taraba, and Jigawa recorded the lowest voter turnout going by feedback received so far,” the statement reads.


“There are also reports of political party agents trying to influence vote buying and selling in states like Cross River, Adamawa, Ogun, Ondo, and Imo. Particularly in Imo, there were some cases of systematic vote-buying.

“On the whole, while INEC appeared to have deployed early across many of the polling units sampled, the issue of voter suppression was flagged, especially as thugs have been reported to disrupt voting and deploy violent intimidation to prevent voters from coming to cast their vote in some areas in Lagos, Oyo, Nassarawa, and Imo, among others.”

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