Vote buying, low sensitisation, major threats to 2019 polls – observer group
By Steve Oko
An election observer group known as YIAGA africa, has identified vote buying and low voter education as some of the major threats to the 2019 general elections.
The non governmental organisation raised the alarm Tuesday during a consultation meeting with the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Abia State Council at the NUJ Press Centre Umuahia.
Abia State Focal Point Officer of YIAGA africa, Mr. Jeff Megwe, noted with concern, reports of vote buying across the country.
He said that politicians were reportedly buying voters cards with the ulterior motive of collecting the ‘Voter Identification Number’, VIN.
According to him, those behind the unpatriotic act offer money and other inducements including rice to voters and collect their Permernent Voter Card, PVC, extract the VIN.
He further said the perpetrators had the intention to hack into the data base of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, using the VIN of the voters.
According to him the worrisome development calls for concern because the VIN in the PVC of the voters “would have been used even before the owner goes to vote.”
Identifying low voter education as another major threat to the polls, YIAGA Africa that INEC and the National Orientation Agency to rise to the occasion.
The observer group said it would deploy technology in monitoring the 2019 polls to ensure a credible exercise.
It said it had recruited two observers per polling unit who must be registered voters in the unit to help monitor the presidential poll.
He said information and data would be transmitted direct from the polling units to the situation room of the NGO in Abuja.
According to him the activities of the group and other election observers would help in minimise fraud at the polls.
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