Vote-buying was recorded at some polling units during the ongoing election in Osun State, the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), has said.
This was disclosed by the CJID in its Mid-day situation report on the 2022 gubernatorial elections.
The CJID is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which set up the Election Analysis Centre to monitor the general conduct of the polls.
The NGO deployed election observers at the various 30 LGAs in Osun.
According to the report, incidents of vote trading were reported in Polling Unit 010, Ward 03, Ife East, Polling 01, Ward 04, and Iwo LGA.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was prompt in deploying officials and materials to polling units across the states, the report said.
It said: “However, the early arrival of INEC officials and election materials did not translate to the timely opening of polling units. At mid-day, only 40% of the Polling Units (PUs) observed started on time, while 58.9% of the PUs opened late.
“Our observers reported the deployment of BVAS tools to all polling units observed. However, there were reported incidences of limited BVAS and non-functionality at some polling units observed. Some of these incidents were reported in PU 013 Ward 10 Egbedore LGA, Polling Unit 006 Ward 04, Iwo LGA, Polling Unit 002 Ward 07, and Oke Adan LGA, just to name a few.
“Incidences of vote trading were reported in PU 010, Ward 03, Ife East, PU 01, Ward 04, and Iwo LGA as party agents were seen taking down the names of voters who had agreed to sell their votes for a particular amount. Similarly, more cases of voter trading were reported in PU 02, Ward 06, Iwokan LGA, PU 003, Ward 03, Ife South LGA, and PU 003, Ward 07, and Ife North LGA as voters were openly offering to sell their votes.”
According to the CJID EAC, there were reports of missing names of registered voters on the BVAS. These voters were prevented from voting despite having their permanent voters’ cards.
Also observed were pockets of violence in some polling units arising from malfunctioning BVAS and complaints of the slow voting process.
It added: “Other reported incidents of violence resulting from thuggery were observed at PU 002, Ward 07 in Orolu LGA, and PU 005, Ward 05, Iwo LGA, where some suspected thugs clashed with security agencies.
“Finally, low adherence to the COVID-19 guideline has been recorded. We implore everyone to observe the COVID-19 protocols as the safety of citizens is a foremost concern. In exercising your franchise, we want to remind you that it is better to be safe than sorry.
“We stand in solidarity with all actors, voters and observers and wish everyone a peaceful and fruitful election day.”
Although there are 15 candidates in the election, political pundits have said it is a rematch between incumbent Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who squared off in 2018.