Combating Electoral Malpractices
In a proactive move to curb vote-buying and other electoral malpractices, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has initiated the deployment of its officials for the upcoming off-cycle governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States. The aim is to ensure a fair and transparent electoral process.
ICPC’s Extensive Monitoring: Agents Across Local Government Areas
The ICPC has strategically placed its agents across all 56 local government areas and 649 wards in the three states where the elections are slated to occur.
The spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, highlights the specific task given to these agents: monitoring and preventing vote-buying and other forms of electoral misconduct at polling stations.
Response to INEC’s Invitation: Collaboration for Free and Fair Elections
Ogugua notes that the ICPC’s monitoring exercise is a direct response to the invitation extended by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
The goal is to actively contribute to ensuring that the electoral processes in these states remain free and fair.
The ICPC Head of Special Duties Division (SDD), Alex Chukwura, has instructed operatives to collaborate closely with other security agencies during the electoral exercise.
Guidelines for Monitoring Elections: Emphasis on Integrity
Before deployment, Chukwura emphasized the importance of adhering to ICPC guidelines for monitoring elections.
He urged the operatives to maintain discipline and integrity while working collaboratively with various security agencies, including the Military, Police, Department of State Security, and INEC, to achieve the common objective of a free and fair electoral process.
Taking Action Against Corruption: Regardless of Social Status
Chukwura advised the operatives to take necessary actions against any individuals involved in corrupt activities during the election, emphasizing that social status should not be a shield.
The focus is on upholding the law and ensuring that the electoral process remains untainted by corrupt practices.
Call to Voters: Civic Responsibility and Lawful Participation
As the ICPC takes on this pivotal role, Chukwura urges voters in the three states to fulfill their civic responsibilities on Election Day.
He emphasizes the importance of avoiding any acts that could lead to electoral and other related offenses, promoting a sense of responsibility among the electorate.