The Balm In Gilead Foundation for Sustainable Development (BIGIF) has called on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and other relevant institutions to step up efforts to deal with vote trading in accordance with the Electoral Act, 2022.
BIGIF, through its brainchild, Case Tracking and Response Centre (CTRC) stated this in its post-election statement on the Saturday elections, by Ms. Oluwatumininu Adedeji, Executive Director, BIGIF (Convener -CTRC) to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday.
The foundation noted with great delight that in line with it’s recommendations in 2022 after the Ekiti governorship election, the EFCC has resolved to doing the needful with a view to make elections more credible and acceptable to the electorate.
BIGIF further called on the Commission to make public the progress made with the prosecution of people arrested for vote buying in previous elections particularly during the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections in 2022.
“Governorship elections as this will serve as deterrence to others who may be nursing such evil thought. We are therefore calling for the full implementation of Section 22 of the electoral Act, 2022.
The BIGIF commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the deployment of technology, particularly BVAS, which became a defining variable in the 2023 elections.
“To the credit of INEC, election materials were swiftly sorted and deployed before the elections which also accounted for early commencement of polls.
“Transportation of election materials and ad hoc staff after vote sorting and counting to the ward level collation centers were largely marred with delays, thereby subjecting them to undue risks.
“Polling units decongestion, an exercise by INEC that relocated some voters to new polling units before the elections certainly led to some voters’ inability to vote as they were unable to identify their polling units before the end of the elections.
“The elections witnessed relatively low turnout owing to the impacts of economic crises, yet there was a good turnout for the elections generally as reported across the states.”
BIGIF thanked INEC for upholding the needs and aspirations of vulnerable groups during the elections, which allow for fair treatment and prevent their agency being tampered with by party agents.