From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
The Independent National Electoral Commission( INEC) has tasked traditional rulers across the country to mobilise their subjects against vote buying and selling.
Its Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Kano State, Prof. Risqua Arabu made the request, yesterday, during a visit by the Oba of Yoruba in Kano State, Oba Murtala Alimi Otisese appealing to monarch’s to assist end electoral violence in their domains.
Arabu said vote buying undermined the creditability of the electoral process and solicited the assistance of monarchs in stemming the trend.
The REC, who was represented by the Commission’s Administrative Secretary, Garba Lawal, appealed to traditional rulers to sensitise their subjects against electoral violence. He also charged them to encourage their subjects to collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
He tasked Nigerians never to sell their votes but to cast it for credible candidates during elections.
The, however, said INEC has put in place stringent measures to halt manipulations of votes in the conduct of polls, which explained why politicains and their parties have resorted to vote buying as a way to beat the process.
He explained that Kano State had about one million uncollected voters cards, comprising 440, 000 previously uncollected cards and about 560,000 cards registered during the present dispensation.
Oba Alimi-Otisese pledged the commitment of traditional leaders in Nigeria to ensure peaceful conduct of the 2023 general election.
He tasked Nigerians to exercise their franchise during the forthcoming elections.
“Nigerian’s should not relent towards casting their votes, towards ensuring that their vote counts in a peaceful manner as peace is indeed the pillar of development,” he said.
He observed that both the government of the state and the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero have set the pace for peace to prevail during the elections exercise.
The Oba said that the visit was to expressed his solidarity for the commission toward deepening the democratic processes in the country.
“As custodians of culture and traditions, we should not only be heard, but also be seen at this critical juncture of our national life. While commending INEC and Nigerians for the peaceful Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), that has just ended.
“I urge us all to vigorously sustain the seal in ensuring that the next stage, which is, collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) is pursued, please go out en masse to collect your PVCs,” he said.
Alimi-Otisese further urged Nigerians to ensure that they go out and cast their votes during the 2023 general elections.
“Ensure that your vote counts in every peaceful manner, as peace is indeed, the pillar of development and we must keep working to sustain the peace,” he said