Vote Buying, Not New To Nigerian Politics - CP ... As INEC Boss Urges Journalists To Balance Reports
By Ganiyu Salau
The commissioner of police, Bello Hammed has admitted that Vote buying is not a new phenomenon in Nigerian politics.
He made this claim on Wednesday, 28th November, 2018 at the Nigerian Union of Journalists' Press Centre along NTA road in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. The CP was the guest lecturer at the second anniversary lecture and awards of excellence organized by the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (Progress FM) Chapel of NUJ where he delivered a lecture titled: "Expectations and the roles of the police, the Media and members of the public in vote buying".
Meanwhile, the resident electoral Commissioner in Ekiti State, Professor Abdul Ganiyu Raji who was present at the occasion had urged the press to always balance their reports in order not to truncate this democracy.
The commissioner of police who was represented at the occasion by the head of Intelligence Unit of the State Command, Mr Julius Adedeji, a lawyer, took time to reflect on the historical perspective of elections in Nigeria from pre-independence era particularly, the 1959 general elections down to the present elections.
The police boss who disclosed that 14 suspects were arrested during the last governorship election for vote buying. According to him, "I am not saying it has not been happening before but it became prominent during the last gubernatorial election in Ekiti".
The commissioner of police referred to section 130A of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended which did not make vote buying a criminal offense but section 130B criminalise it with twelve months imprisonment or options of one hundred thousand.
He stressed that currently, Ekiti State police command was prosecuting those suspects arrested for vote buying during the conduct of the last gubernatorial election at the Ekiti State.
The INEC boss, in his own contribution, commended the Commissioner of Police for doing a good job during the recently conducted Ekiti and Osun gubernatorial elections. He opined that vote buying had become a national phenomenon but urged the press to always balance their stories irrespective of their editorial policies in order not to truncate this democracy.
Among the dignitaries that graced the occasion were the chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists in Ekiti State, Comrade Rotimi Omoyejela, the General Manager of progress FM, Dokun Ladele represented by Engraved John Olusanya.
Omoyejela in his good will message particularly thanked President Mohammadu Buhari for increasing the salary of the police and called on governments and corporate organisation to do same to journalists so that they can perform their duties better.
The proprietor of Bradford Group Of Schools, Mrs Ayeni Agbaje, the proprietor of St Lawrence groups of schools, Mr Lawrence Olufeni and Rev. Tunde Afe among others were honoured with various awards.
The ldoma dancers, the students of St Lawrence groups of schools and Bravford Groups Of Schools entertained the gathering.