Vote buying is criminal — Orbih

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo has said that vote buying during elections is a fraudulent and criminal act which needs to be nipped in the bud.

Chief Dan Orbih, State Chairman of the party, said this on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Benin.

He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take steps to end the situation, adding that it had been in the forefront of elections held recently in some states.

He explained that if INEC could put in place a process that would prevent party agents and other electorate from knowing who and what party individuals voted for during elections, it would help to stop vote buying.

” By this I mean INEC should make secret ballot in the true sense of the word and ensure only the voter knows who or what party he or she voted for,” he said.

The chairman also said it was with a view to tackling some of the problems of true electoral process in the country that the National Assembly amended the electoral laws.

He, however, lamented that till now, President Mohammadu Buhari had not seen the need to assent to the amended electoral law, describing the action as a danger to the National electoral process and system.

He, therefore, urged President Buhari to sign the Amended Electoral Act into law.

He said it was a source of concern that government was carrying on as if there was nothing at stake by refusing to assent to the bill.

According to him, “there is an urgent need for the president to immediately sign the bill into law, to give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) enough time to meet the specific provisions of the law.

“These are not good signs for the forthcoming elections, I am disturbed by the silence of Nigerians over the continued delay to sign the electoral act as amended and passed by the National Assembly.”

He also wondered how the thorny issue of the card reader would be resolved in the event that the president did not sign the bill into law and also the transmission of results from the polling units to the collation centre immediately they awere announced.

Orbih further expressed worry by the huge number of uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) by people in different states as recently announced by the commission.

He called for active participation by the citizenry to have a true democracy in the country.

He also expressed concern over university lecturers current nationwide strike over need for improved welfare conditions and poorfunding of institutions (NAN)