2023: Group urges INEC to guarantee secrecy of ballots



By Angela Atabo

An advocacy group, Polling Unit Ambassadors of Nigeria, on Tuesday urged the National Electoral Commission (INEC) to guarantee the secrecy of the ballots during the 2023 elections.

Mr Suleiman Dabass, Ambassador-General of the group, made the appeal at a news conference in Abuja.

Dabass said most voting cubicles used in previous elections were exposed, thereby compromising the secrecy of ballots.

“We want the cubicle to have a window blind at the entrance in such a way that whoever is casting vote should not be seen by people outside,’’ he said.

He said the second option was the provision of envelope to put the votes in before putting it in the ballot box.

Dabass said that the electorate should shun vote buying and selling, and help to expose those involved.

“We are also telling Nigerians that any politician who come to you to tell you to sell your votes, it means the politician does not mean well for you.

“Vote trading is the most dangerous menace in our democratic system, and we intend to arrest it.

“We are passing the message to politicians who send their agents to buy votes and of course, to the electorate who also wait for the politicians to sell their votes to them.

“We want to let you know that vote buying or vote selling is a crime.

“We will be partnering with the EFCC, ICPC, INEC, the Nigerian police and all relevant authorities, so if you are caught the law will take its course,” Dabass added.

He said that the group would hold a national sensitisation road walk in Abuja on Wednesday on the dangers of vote buying to the political system.

Dabass assured that PUAN would be policing all polling units in communities to ensure that those engaged in vote selling and buying were arrested and prosecuted. (NAN)