AHEAD of the Osun State governorship election on Saturday and a day after the Independent National Electoral Commission placed a ban on the use of mobile phones and cameras inside polling booths, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday kicked against the directive.
INEC Chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu, who announced the ban on Monday in Osogbo at a stakeholders’ forum ahead of the poll, said the electoral umpire will not allow voters into the booths with their telephones, cameras and any other device that can take pictures.
The INEC chair said the measure would help to curb the issue of vote-buying and vote-selling which he described as a new strategy adopted by politicians to rig elections.
He said the decision was reached because of the alarm raised by stakeholders that politicians had adopted ‘see and buy’ as a new rigging method.
The professor explained the measure was being taken to prevent vote-buying and vote-selling during the Osun governorship poll and subsequent elections.
Yakubu said: “I wish to now turn to the worrisome issue of vote-buying. Over the years, the Commission has taken several steps to improve our electoral process. Today, malpractices such as ballot box snatching and stuffing, multiple voting, diversion of election materials, hijacking of election personnel, falsification of results and sundry violations of the electoral law have been considerably addressed.”
But the PDP condemned the decision of the electoral umpire to ban the use of smart phones in polling units.
Its National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus accused INEC of a surreptitious move to prevent the global community from knowing its plan to rig the 2019 general elections.
Governor Seriake Dickson’s Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr. FIdelis Soriwei, as having made the comment yesterday during a meeting with stakeholders from Bayelsa East Senatorial District in Yenagoa.
Secondus said that it was quite puzzling that the commission would attempt to prevent the use of smart phone, which he described as the easiest means of communication in the society, during elections.
He alleged that the decision to ban the use of recording devices was the strategy of INEC and the APC to rig the general elections last year.
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