Mr Adedeji Soyebi, Board Chairman, The Electoral Institute, the research arm of INEC made the call at a news conference on Kogi and Bayelsa election organised by NESSACTION, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Abuja.
Soyebi said that vote buying and violence were great challenges of the Kogi and Bayelsa election adding:“It was the duty of everyone to find a way of removing violence from the electoral system.”
He said that the new trend of violence in elections was becoming worrisome and INEC would not fold its arms or close its eyes and pretend not to see it.
“Another aspect which is glaring is the issue of vote exchange; violence and the twin brother vote buying are becoming a primary trend in the electoral process in the country.
“People were willing to sell their votes in spite of all we have done to discourage vote buying; it looks as if we were actually advertising because people were just willing to go there and sell their votes.
“A lot of work has to be done by all especially the traditional rulers, they have lots of role to play here, there are so much INEC can do to improve the system but very little we can do about attitudinal change.
“We cannot legislate against attitudes, there is nothing that can be done about attitude, it has to come from within and we must all work against it,’’ he said.
Soyebi commended NESSACTION for the report and reiterated the commitment of the commission to take lessons from the report to improve the electoral process.
Earlier, Ms Eniola Cole, Executive Director, NESSACTION said that the group observed that the Kogi and Bayelsa election derailed further from past elections in terms of safety and security.
Cole said that most issues that arose at the election were as a result of dearth in political will to conduct free, fair and credible election and extant behavioural anomalies across board with election stakeholders.
She advised that security agents deployed for elections coverage be made to go through INEC accreditation process along with all other stakeholders and be held responsible for their actions.
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She urged INEC to explore a secured e-voting, Diaspora voting and e-transmission of results to stem vote buying, bribery and curb violence.
She also called on INEC to ensure access to polling units for persons with disabilities by deploying brail ballots, magnifying glasses and other election materials to assist Persons Living with Disabilities (PWD).
Cole urged INEC to deepen gender, youths and PWD inclusion effort by encouraging the amendment of the electoral laws.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NESSACTION is an organisation focused on development consulting to build youths capacities through applied research field work and collaborative engagements.