The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has decried the emerging trend of violence and vote-buying during elections.
Speaking on behalf of the National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Solomon Soyebi said, stated that emerging trends of violence and vote-buying during elections had become a threat to Nigeria’s electoral process and other concerned stakeholders.
"This new trend of violence in election is frightening. We must admit that there was huge violence in these last elections and it is a new trend. The elections were marred by a lot of violence, especially in Kogi State." He said.
The commission made this known during the presentation of reports on Kogi and Bayelsa polls yesterday by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), NESSACTION, in Abuja.
INEC noted that the two governorship elections were characterized by violence. However, he warned that the commission would not fold its arm over the matter or pretend like they don't see it.
"I want to assure you and say that it is the duty of all of us to find a way of doing away with violence from the electoral system." He said.
He further urged Nigerians to discourage vote-buying during elections and called for unity as a way to eliminate violence from the electoral process. He maintained that the will of the people is supreme, and this should not be exchanged for violence.
He also mentioned that the commission is also open to criticism over its duty and promised to look at the report carefully and implement its recommendations where necessary.