EDITORIAL: Stopping the menace of vote buying in Nigerian elections

The recent off-season Ekiti State governorship election was blighted by vote buying, among other malpractices. Vote buying has become an obscene phenomenon that increases in every election in Nigeria without any decisive official response to counteract it. This bodes ill for the 2023 general elections which might end up being decided by the size of the ‘bribe budget’ rather than the choice of citizens. Vote buying must be checkmated to guarantee the right of the people to freely exercise their democratic franchise.

A total of 16 political parties participated in the Ekiti election. According to reports from election observers and the media, some voters received between N5,000 and N10,000 each, under a “See and Pay” subterfuge, in which a thump-printed ballot was displayed to a party agent who stood around a polling booth. While the bigger parties allegedly shelled out these huge sums, some smaller parties purportedly offered between N1,000…

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