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UK High Commission condemns vote-buying in Ekiti, says authorities must hold persons involved accountable

The British High Commission in Nigeria has condemned the act of vote-buying and selling witnessed in last Saturday’s Ekiti governorship election.

Technocrat Media, Abuja

The British High Commission in Nigeria has condemned the act of vote-buying and selling witnessed in last Saturday’s Ekiti governorship election.

In a statement issued on Monday in Abuja seen by Technocrat Media, the High Commission said those involved in the act must be held accountable by relevant authorities.

“We congratulate the people of Ekiti State for their peaceful and democratic participation in the governorship election that was held on Saturday, 18 June 2022. As the first major election conducted since the enactment of the Electoral Act 2022, we commend INEC, the security agencies, our civil society partners, and all stakeholders for their collective effort in the conduct of the poll under the new legal framework.

“Our team of observers on the ground noted commendable improvements in the electoral process including the timely opening of polls, better functioning of the BVAS devices for accrediting voters, and the transparent and efficient electronic transmission of polling results to INEC’s result viewing portal.

“We are concerned about reports of vote-buying during the election and call on the relevant authorities to hold any persons involved accountable. The buying and selling of votes have no place in a democracy.

“We encourage INEC to reflect on other potential improvements to the electoral process ahead of the 2023 general elections, especially the re-distribution and assignment of voters to newly established polling units to reduce queueing time, better awareness and implementation of electoral guidelines by INEC staff, and improved accessibility at polling unit to help with the participation of persons with disabilities.

“We urge any party or individual who is dissatisfied with the process to seek redress in a peaceful manner and through the appropriate legal channels.

“As Nigeria moves closer to the 2023 general elections, we encourage people to register and collect their PVCs and to participate actively in the electoral process. The UK will continue to assist INEC and our partners in their aspirations to support peaceful, credible, and inclusive elections in Nigeria,” the statement reads.

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