INTERIM PRESS RELEASE BY JUSTICE, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE MAKERS CENTRE ON THE ISSUE OF VOTE BUYING AT THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION HELD ON 23RD FEBRUARY, 2019.
Issued on 26th February, 2019
Justice, Development and Peace Makers Centre, Osogbo deployed thirty Seven (37) state coordinators and One hundred and Fifty-nine (159) monitors across the thirty- Six States (36) of the federation including the FCT for the past 2 months to track Campaign Finance expenditure of All Progress Party, People’s Democratic Party, Young Progressive Party, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria under Campaign Finance Monitoring Project sponsored by International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) using a globally recognized tracking method called Parallel Expense Tracking (PET) to track expenditures.
The purview of the Campaign Finance Monitoring project was also extended to the issue of vote buying during the Presidential election.
As the Presidential election has come and gone, (not minding that some states may still hold re-run election at few polling units), Justice, Development and Peace Makers Centre, Osogbo will like to make the following observations on issue of vote buying and voters inducement at the just concluded Presidential and National Assemblies elections. Different methods of vote buying and voters’ inducement were observed.
- Some Party agents distributed tags to some of the electorates and groups before voting for easy identification in order to collect money at the end of voting. Money distributed ranged from five hundred Naira (#500) to five thousand Naira (#5, 000) depending on the status of the voters. Some groups were given certain amount of money ranging from One hundred thousand naira (#100,000) to the tune of two hundred and fifty thousand naira (#250,000) per group.
- Justice Development and Peace Makers’ Centre has received from its state coordinators reports of cases of vote buying in most parts of the country like Ekiti, Katsina, Edo, Nasarawa, Enugun, Osun State.
- It was also observed that apart from money inducement by political parties through various Agents, some other ways like distribution of raw foods immediately after voting, mobilization of voters by provision of buses to convey them to their polling units were arraigned by some political parties in order to get votes. This scenario played out in states like Cross River, Kaduna, Lagos, Imo and the FCT, Abuja.
- Certain political parties induced security personnel in polling units in the South west Geo-Political zone. Security personnel at each polling units were given a total sum of #15,000 while INEC Ad-hoc staff (Corps Members) were given a sum of #10,000 each.
In the coming week, Justice, Development and Peace Makers Centre will release a detailed report of the findings from her campaign finance monitoring mission including data collected from our thirty seven State Coordinators (37), One hundred and fifty nine (159) monitors deployed across the Country. This finding is restricted to only the presidential elections
Justice, Development and Peace Makers Centre wishes to use this medium to appreciate INEC for conducting violence free election in the country, Security agencies for providing adequate security during election, although some were over-zealous in discharging their duty and IFES for creating platform to strengthen our democracy.
Rev. Fr. Peter Akinkunmi
Justice Development and Peace Makers’ Centre is a well-known faith- based, non- profit and non- governmental organization in Osun State. We have been actively involved in championing the Cause of peaceful co-existence of citizens, Youth developments, human rights, democracy and good governance, rural development for over 21 years. Our commitments to the development of the local communities have been a great achievement which was recognized by the state government and the beneficiaries at large.
And the funders of this project, IFES is a global leader in democracy promotion and advances good governance and democratic rights by providing technical assistance to Election Management Bodies; empowering the underrepresented to participate in the political process. IFES boasts of a very good working relationship with INEC which has been existing since the political dispensation of 1999. IFES gets is funding from USaid and UKaid.