The National Peace Committee (NPC) has decried the incidence of vote buying in the just concluded Gubernatorial Elections in Ekiti on June 18, calling for investigations and persecution of the culprits.
The NPC also known as the Kukah Centre made this known in a statement by its Chairman and former Nigerian President, Abdulsalami Abubakar on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to the centre, the process of vote buying undermines the value of democracy and the electoral process.
“We strongly decry the incidence of vote-buying recorded during the elections and urge the security agencies to ensure that investigations are conducted.
“That all perpetrators of this anti-democratic acts are prosecuted and brought to justice with the provisions in the electoral law.
“The practice of vote-buying undermines the values which underpin our democratic life. It reduces the privileged selection of those who steward our commonwealth through our electoral processes, as being transactional.
“We must hold to account all who would muddy the springs from which we as a people seek to drink from collectively by such actions of bribery, both the giver and receiver,” the NPC stated.
The NPC, however, congratulated the people and government of Ekiti for a peaceful conduct of the elections despite the recent spate of insecurity, massive voters’ turnout.
“With the official announcement of the results in the Ekiti State off-cycle governorship elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The National Peace Committee (NPC) wishes to congratulate the good people of Ekiti State over their peaceful conduct during the June 18, 2022, governorship election.
“We want to particularly thank the people of Ekiti for the turnout recorded during the election, despite recent increasing levels of insecurity.
“Your commitment to fulfilling your civic responsibilities by casting your votes in a peaceful and orderly manner, sets an example for your compatriots in the upcoming Osun State Governorship Election and Nigeria as we move towards the General Elections in 2023.”
The NPC also commended the efforts of all stakeholders who worked tirelessly either as ombudsmen or observers or participants to ensure that the elections were conducted according to the rules.
“These include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for facilitating an electoral process, where people were not disenfranchised because of their party affiliation, gender, religious or ethnic affiliations and/or disability.
“The Media, Civil Society Organisations, and international development partners for their tireless efforts in monitoring and reporting on the process in a transparent and unbiased manner.
“We commend the political parties and their respective candidates for yielding to the call for a peaceful election in Ekiti State.
“By respecting the provisions of the Electoral Act as well as cooperating with the various Institutions of state saddled with their implementation,” the centre stated.
The NPC urged winner of the election, Biodun Oyebanji of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to be magnanimous in victory by collaborating with the citizens of Ekiti.
The centre also urged those who may be disappointed by the outcome of the exercise to use the available constitutional channels to express their grievances, ensuring that the rule of law dictates our collective actions as a people.