The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says many politicians in the country are not happy with the commission’s moves to prevent vote buying in the 2023 general election.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this at a one-day stakeholders’ summit on addressing the influence of money on the 2023 general election in Abuja on Monday.
Yakubu said as a commission, INEC harboured no illusion that it was going to be easy to root out the negative influence of money on the election, adding that the electoral umpire was determined to tackle it.
“We fully realised that today’s initiative will not go down well with people who may not be committed to the growth of our electoral system and the consolidation of our democracy.
“We expect them to fight back. There will be both covert and overt pressure, countervailing actions, and even threats by these vested interests.
“I wish to reiterate that our loyalty is to Nigeria and our allegiance is to Nigerians. We are committed to working with the collaborating agencies to see that this initiative succeeds in the 2023 general election and beyond.
“The commission is aware that legal provisions and the actions of the agencies are critical but will not be enough to completely root out the deep-seated cancer of corrupt money in our election,” Yakubu said.
The INEC boss added: “The concerted actions of citizens are crucial. Citizens must reject inducements to sway their votes through vote buying.
“They must also engage effectively in stopping the negative use of money in our electoral process generally by reporting cases to INEC and other agencies.
“In addition, civil society organisations should make this a major plank of both their pre-election and election observation activities.
“Financial institutions, religious organisations, traditional institutions, the media, civic bodies and, above all, citizens must also join in this fight.”