Politicians sharing money, gifts in Osun – TMG

The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has raised the alarm over alleged plans by politicians to disrupt Saturday’s governorship election in Osun state.
Chairman of TMG, Dr.
Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, in a statement yesterday said investigation has revealed that, besides plans to unleash violence, politicians have embarked on the distribution of money, food items and gifts in 12 local government areas of the state in order to induce voters.
TMG also revealed that the ugly trend of voters’ inducement/votebuying in Osun is inimical to the credibility of the electoral process, saying it would be deploying over 300 observers in the 30 LGAs of Osun state.
Its statement read in part: “As part of its commitment to promoting free, fair as well as effective and accountable management of the election, TMG will observe the 2018 Osun state governorship election.
“TMG in collaboration with its members will deploy 300 citizen observers across the 30 LGAs in the state to observe the Election Day processes and conduct of the security and other stakeholders during the election.” While calling on security agencies and election monitoring groups to work towards stopping the process of vote inducement in the state, she advised that there should be adequate deployment of security personnel to maintain law and order at the polling units.
The group also tasked the security agencies to ensure that perpetrators of electoral offences are arrested and prosecuted.
According to Akiyode-Afolabi, citizens’ votes were valuable assets that must be guarded jealously, adding that vote buying was an electoral offense which undermines the legitimacy of elections and weakens representative democracy.
She said, “In the build-up to the September 22, 2018 governorship election in Osun, TMG has received reports of distribution of money, food items and gifts by politicians at Boripe, Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Ife North, Ife South, Obokun, Ede North, Egbedore, Boluwaduro, Ila, Irepodun, Iwo Local Government Areas of the state.
“These ugly trends are dangerous recipe against the credibility of the electoral process.
The rampant case of voter inducements does not portray the electoral process in good light as it creates serious questions on the integrity of the process and legitimacy of its outcome.
She further stated that: “Accusation and counter-accusation of vandalising billboards by political parties are so unfortunate and should be discouraged.
This is indeed an early warning signal that security agencies should investigate to ensure a peaceful election come September 22.”

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