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We won’t relent in fighting vote-buying

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it won’t relent in its determination to prevent vote-buying in 2023 general election.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this at a day stakeholders’ summit on addressing the influence of money in the 2023 general election on Monday in Abuja.

Yakubu said that as a commission, INEC harboured no illusion that it was going to be easy to root out the negative influence of money on election, saying however that it was determined to tackle it.

“We fully realised that today’s initiative will not go down well with people who may not be committed to the growth of our electoral system and the consolidation of our democracy.

“We expect them to fight back. There will be both covert and overt pressure, countervailing actions and even threats by these vested interests.

“I wish to reiterate that our loyalty is to Nigeria and our allegiance is to Nigerians. We are committed to working with the collaborating agencies to see that this initiative succeeds in the 2023 general election and beyond.

“The commission is aware that legal provisions and the actions of the agencies are critical but will not be enough to completely root out the deep-seated cancer of corrupt money in our election,” he said.

Yakubu added: “The concerted actions of citizens are crucial. Citizens must reject inducements to sway their votes through vote-buying.

“They must also engage effectively in stopping the negative use of money in our electoral process generally by reporting cases to INEC and other agencies.

“In addition, civil society organisations should make this a major plank of both their pre-election and election observation activities.

“Financial institutions, religious organisations, traditional institutions, the media, civic bodies and, above all, citizens must also join in this fight”.

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