YIAGA Africa, a policy advocacy group, says voters in Bayelsa and Kogi are selling their permanent voter cards (PVCs) to political parties ahead of the governorship elections in the states.
In a new report on the November 16 polls released on Tuesday, YIAGA said voters are selling their PVCs for as low as N500 and N1000.
Vote buying has been a major source of concern in elections in the country. While some politicians usually collect voters’ data before the polls and pay, some pay voters to get their votes on election day.
YIAGA said it found out through its ‘Watching the vote’ (WTV) strategy that in Kogi, for instance, politicians go from house to house offering advance payments.
The report said: “WTV findings reveals that buying and selling of PVCs still exists. WTV LTOs reported political parties moving from house to house in Ankpa LGA, Kogi state, documenting names and polling unit numbers and addresses of citizens with PVCs, while offering advance payments of five hundred naira (N500), ahead of the election.
“In Bayelsa (Yenagoa LGA) findings also reveals that some citizens in Opolo and Gbarian area were selling their PVCs for five hundred (N500) and one thousand (N1,000) naira.”
The group added that its team monitored and tracked voter inducement through the distribution of money or gift items.
“The WTV LTOs found out that political party candidates or their supporters are distributing money and gift items such as vehicles in communities in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state and in Okehi and Ankpa of Kogi state,” it said.
It also warned of the mobilisation of thugs and weapons ahead of the election, and asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to step up its engagements with security agencies.