Following the widespread vote-buying in the Ekiti election on Saturday, the UK government has demanded immediate prosecution of vote-buyers to serve as deterrence.
Newsonline reports that the British government stated that vote-buying has no place in a democracy, as such all relevant authorities shall prosecute those involved no matter how highly placed.
“We are concerned about reports of vote-buying during the election and call on the relevant authorities to hold any persons involved accountable. The buying and selling of votes have no place in a democracy,” British High Commission said.
In a statement on Monday, by the Press and Public Affairs Officer of the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, British Deputy High Commission in Lagos, Ndidiamaka Eze, UK called on INEC to work towards improving all electoral processes in the build-up to the 2023 election.
“We encourage INEC to reflect on other potential improvements to the electoral process ahead of general elections in 2023, especially the re-distribution and assignment of voters to newly established polling units to reduce queuing times, better awareness and implementation of electoral guidelines by INEC staff, and improved accessibility at polling units to help with the participation of persons with disabilities,” it read.
The UK government also congratulated the people of Ekiti State for coming out to exercise their democratic rights.
“We congratulate the people of Ekiti State for their peaceful and democratic participation in the governorship election that was held on Saturday 18 June 2022.
”As the first major election conducted since the enactment of the Electoral Act 2022, we commend the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, security agencies, our civil society partners, and all stakeholders for their collective effort in the successful conduct of the poll under the new legal framework.
“Our team of observers on the ground noted commendable improvements in the electoral process including the timely opening of polls, better functioning of the Biometric Voters Accreditation System, BVAS, devices for accrediting voters, and the transparent and efficient electronic transmission of polling unit results to INEC’s results viewing portal.”
The UK government called on “any party or individual who is dissatisfied with the process to seek redress in a peaceful manner and through the appropriate legal channels.”