INEC ‘Bans Use Of Mobile Phones In Polling Units’
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has reportedly banned the use of mobile phones by voters and other duty officials at polling units during elections, beginning with the September 22 governorship elections in Osun State.
Nigerian Guardian quoted the Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, as saying that the decision was a deliberate measure to put a stop to the menace of vote buying, which he said was threatening the country’s democracy.
Speaking at a sensitisation event on Friday in Abuja, Yakubu said:
“In most cases, you see people vote and snap the ballot paper to show to party agents that they have voted as evidence to be paid.” This, he said, can no longer be tolerated.”
Premium Times also reported that he said mobile phones would be collected from voters when they collect their ballot papers at the polling stations, to curb vote buying in the country.
”The commission would try and ban the use of some devices that aid vote buying on election day such as mobile phones,” Mr Yakubu said
”It is all widespread that for those who have smart phones, they go into the voting cubicles with there smart phones, thumbprint the ballot paper, take a picture with the ballot paper, fold it and drop it into the box, and later show it to the person who asked them to vote to see evidence that they have voted for there candidate.
”But I also think that the political parties may be for a shocker because there are also smart guys in Nigeria that would snap and send to others through whatsapp and one ballot paper may be claimed by hundreds of people,” he added.
”We are looking at that possibility to tell citizens that have smart phones not to come to polling units on election day with the smart phones.”
He assured that INEC would use the Osun State governorship election as a test case against vote-buying, vowing to partner with the security agencies to make arrests and prosecute defaulters to serve as a deterrent to others.