We don’t monitor sharing of salt, rice  by parties during campaigns – INEC


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not monitor
the sharing of salt, rice and other commodities given by political
parties during campaigns, the commission’s Head, Department of Voter
Education and Publicity in Bayelsa State, Wilfred Ifogah, has said.
Ifogah was reacting to an allegation of inducement of voters by
election monitoring group, YIAGA Africa, in at least one in every
three of the 21 local government areas in Kogi State and in all the
LGAs in Bayelsa.
The Executive Director, YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo, had made the
allegation in a statement according to The Punch.
He said, “INEC should come up with a robust mechanism and collaborate
with both state and non-state actors to curb the menace of buying and
selling of PVCs and other forms of voter inducement.
“Generally, voter inducement was reported in at least one in every
three LGAs of the 21 LGAs in Kogi state, and in all the LGAs in
Bayelsa states.”
But speaking in an interview with, Ifogah wondered how voters could be
induced when the election had not been conducted.
He said, “We still have some weeks to the election. I don’t know how
YIAGA Africa came about that. Although they have their people on the
field, they have not told us anything. People go out to campaign.
So whatever they do, I cannot really say.
“Even before the vote-buying syndrome, they used to give out
commodities such as salt, rice and other things during campaign. May
be that is what they are doing right now that YIAGA Africa is calling
voter inducement.
“INEC does not track such things. YIAGA Africa is an independent group
and so, whatever their findings are, we don’t know. The only thing I
know INEC does is that whenever political parties are having their
major rallies, they invite the commission to observe and see how they
conduct themselves and take track of certain things they are doing. We
track the finances of parties as well.”
The INEC spokesman said there was a department in INEC, Election and
Political Party Monitoring, which tracked campaign funds.
“Since the campaigns started, INEC has been tracking them. The EPPM
team goes round to check billboards and match them with what each
party is spending on elections and, later, they will come out with
their own report,” he added.
Also speaking, the HoD VEP in Kogi State, Ahmed Biambo, queried the
allegation by YIAGA Africa.
Biambo said, “Voter inducement with money or what? That is one
allegation I consider to be vague. So far, the campaign in Kogi is
He said, “I don’t know how they are inducing voters. It is only at the
polling unit that you can see some forms of vote buying.”

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