The ban of the use of mobile phones and other recording devices in voting cubicles by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) largely reduced vote buying in the Osun governorship election, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) reports.
CDD monitored the poll in partnership with the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ).
In their preliminary report of the election held on Saturday, the organisation also observed that in most of the polling units, voters complied with the policy, and in cases where attempts were made to violate the policy, law enforcement agents and INEC officials saw to its enforcement.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported the arrest of a vote buyer identified as Sunday, at Polling Unit 03, Ward 06 of Ifedayo Local Government Area – later released by police officers in Osun State.
CDD-PTCIJ also observed in Ward 010, PU 004, Boripe LGA, a voter photographing ballot paper after voting in the presence of security personnel.
The report also said politicians deployed new tactics to perpetrate vote buying and selling during Osun Governorship election.
The groups further said despite the measures introduced by INEC to reduce vote buying in the election, politicians devised means to buy votes.
“As against the usual money sharing at the polling units, our observers said that the agents of the political parties are now collating names for payment after the vote.
“This was reported in Ede North Local Government Ward 11 polling unit 3, 4, 5 and 11, Ayedire Local government Ward 5, Polling Unit 005, Atapka Osogbo local government ward 005, polling unit 007. All the leading political parties in the elections are involved in this despicable acts of vote trading,” the report said.
While commending INEC for the introduction of tactile ballots in the elections, CDD-PTCIJ stated instances of lack of availability of magnifying glasses and materials in some polling units.
“The priority voting introduced by the commission enables several elderly, pregnant women to vote quickly. However the assistance of the elderly raised concerns amongst party agents who alleged that the elderly are being manipulated to vote for other parties.”
CDD-PTCIJ deployed about 180 trained observers across the 30 Local Governments (LGAs) in the state for the election. It described as impressive, the voter turnout compared to previous off-cycle elections.
As voting ends in many polling units across Osun State, collation of results from such polling units have started.
From the polling units, the results will next be collated at ward collation centres, and then at local government collation centres. The final, official result will be declared at the INEC secretariat in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.