The Nigeria Civil Society (NCS) says incidents of vote buying during the Sept. 22 Osun governorship election was minimal.
The Coordinator of the group, Mr Clement Nwanko, said this on Sunday in Osogbo while addressing Journalists on its findings and observations during the poll.
Nwanko said announcement by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and law enforcement officials to arrest vote buyer suspects and charge them to court helped significantly in reducing the malpractice.
“As with recent INEC conducted governorship elections, incidents of vote buying reoccurred in the Osun state elections, even if at a reduced and less brazen manner.
“Incidents now seem subtler with the announcement by INEC and law enforcement officials that suspects would be arrested and charged to court, and the actual deployment of security personnel to enforce this, helped significantly,” he said.
The coordinator commended osun residents and political parties for conducting themselves peacefully during the poll.
He, however, called on INEC to intensify training of its different cadre of staff to enhance their understanding of their election duties and increase their confidence and ability to respond to election challenges.
He said it was observed during the election that some INEC staff and officials were not being sure of their responses to voters’ concerns or voting procedures, which he said created delay.
Nwanko also called on the electoral body to look into the process of results collation, which he said was usually done at night when political parties, candidates, observers and other election stakeholders “may have been depleted”.
The NCS recommended that INEC should ensure that its announcement of the introduction of Braille for voting was made operational across the country and that all people living with disabilities were able to vote during elections.