Chairman TMG, Comrade Auwal Musa Rafsanjani
Chairman TMG, Comrade Auwal Musa Rafsanjani

2023: CISLAC, NOA to sensitise Nigerians against vote trading, political thuggery

NEWS DIGEST – As Nigeria gears towards the 2023 general elections, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), has partnered the National Orientation Agency and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related crimes Commission for sensitising the Nigerian electorates’ against vote buying and political thuggery.

Speaking during a stakeholders’ consultative forum on Political Accountability and Political Party Financing in Adamawa, the CISLAC Executive Director, Comrade Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, described vote trading as a disturbing trend among both leaders and followers.

He said: “The problem here is that the electoral process is often compromised resulting in elections not being free and fair. if left unchecked, will jeopardise the democratic process in Nigeria.”

Mr Rafsanjani, therefore, appealed to the stakeholders, including the media and other CSOs, to engage in implementing voter sensitisation and mobilisation so that electorates are adequately prepared to contribute towards credible elections.

He emphasised the need for transparency in the political process as well as the need to advocate for the enforcement of the laws guiding political party financing and the demerits of vote trading.

According to him, the current security challenges across the country shows that citizens need to take the upcoming elections seriously.

In her remarks, the Director of Legal, NOA, Amina Elelu-Ahmed, assured that the agency will be using its offices across all the local government areas to sensitise citizens on the dangers of vote buying and political thuggery in the country.

Also speaking, a representative of the ICPC, Saliu Hassan, said that the commission was also putting all apparatus in place to ensure that electoral processes are transparent and accountable so as to have a corrupt-free Nigeria.

Stakeholders at the forum recommended that to strengthen accountability in politics and governance, there is a need to discourage vote trading.

The experts added that strategies such as tracking constituency projects implementation across Nigeria should be carried out, as proceeds from these unimplemented projects are channelled into vote buying.

In attendance at the forum were representatives from anti-graft and law enforcement agencies and civil Society organisations.