The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Friday said it will arrest and prosecute anyone that engages in vote-buying in the Sept. 22 governorship election in Osun State.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made this known at the commission’s quarterly consultative meeting with political parties on Friday in Abuja.
Yakubu said the commission would no longer take it lightly, issue of vote-buying which had become a recurring decimal in the country’s elections.
“We are witnessing an ugly trend of vote-buying in recent elections in the country; this is giving our democracy a bad name.
“There is difference between democracy – government of the people, made by the people and for the people and plutocracy, which is government by the rich.
“We are going to make Osun governorship election a big statement by arresting and prosecuting vote buyers. We can’t carry this ugly trend to 2019 elections,” Yakubu said.
He, however, urged political parties to adhere strictly to the commission’s timetable and schedule of activities for the 2019 general elections.
The chairman advised political parties to ensure that their primaries were credible, saying credible and peaceful elections started with political parties, which were the cornerstone of democracy.
He added that the commission would only recognise notice of primaries from parties’ national executive committees.