By Victor Adeoti
An election observer and monitoring group, Yiaga Africa, has described vote buying as a new way of elections rigging by politicians in Nigeria.
Cynthia Mbamalu, the Projector Director of the NGO, said this on Wednesday in Osogbo at a Media Round Table Discussion tagged “Watching The Vote” during Sept. 22 governorship election in Osun.
Mbamalu said vote-buying was becoming a threat to Nigeria electoral process, adding that all hands must be on deck to put an end to the menace.
She said,” Now a days, the more money you give, the more votes you get and this is becoming a problem and a challenge to our electoral process.”
Mbamalu said since the introduction of card reader machines, election rigging had reduced to the barest minimum but that the new way found by politicians to compromise electoral process was vote-buying.
On Osun election, she said the NGO would deploy 500 election observers in 250 polling units across the state.
Mbamalu explained that the organisation would also engage in voter education before the election.
She said the primary objective of the project was to help promote free, fair, peaceful, credible and legitimate elections in Nigeria in accordance with international and regional standards.
Also speaking, Safiya Bichi, the Pre-election Observation Manager, said the NGO would embark on pre-election observation between Aug.4 and Sept.19.
Bichi said the essence of the pre-election observation was to find out what could be an impediment to a credible election.
On his part, Paul James, the Training Manager, said the NGO would be using PVT methodology to observe the governorship election in the state.
According to James, PVT is an advanced Election Day observation methodology that uses well established statistical principles and sophisticated information technology.
“The PVT allows Yiaga Africa to present an accurate and comprehensive assessment of the election processes,” James said.