The Socio Economic Research and Development Centre (SERDEC) has launched the #NoBuyNoSellVote campaign to tackle the growing danger of vote buying in Nigeria. A statement by the organisation’s Executive Director, Tijani Abdulkareem said the campaign will be focusing on sensitising citizens with the information, implications and effect of vote buying in order to discourage and stop vote trading pre and during elections while mobilising stakeholders, recruiting voices and reaching out to all Nigerian to stand up against vote buying.
“The campaign kicks up as an outcome of a voter’s perception poll conducted at selected rural locations in Nigeria, 3600 voters between the ages of 18 – 40 years, across 36 states of the country were asked about their views on vote buying. The poll sought to answer questions around if voters are offered cash will you sell your vote, and do voters see vote buying/selling as a criminal offence,” the statement said.
According to SERDEC, the findings showed a clear public appetite among majority of the respondents to sell their votes not minding the legal, social and governance implications amidst a huge population of Poverty Exposed Voters (PEVs) within the country.
This underscores the need for a collective stakeholders approach as SERDEC will be partnering with the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) to deepen advocacy and enhance voter’s education at the short and long-term as Nigerian approach the 2019 general elections.
“While the poll illustrates the diversity of people’s view, it clearly shows what majority voters have in common bonded by one common enemy POVERTY and loss of Self-esteem which if not addressed could undermine the integrity and credibility of the electoral process”.