The Executive Director, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) Comrade Idris Miliki has lamented 70,000 multiple registrants found in Kogi voter register by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He made known on Tuesday in Lokoja at a one day Post Primaries Engagement with Political Parties, Organised by Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in Partnership with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre ( CISLAC) on prioritizing Anti Corruption and Accountability Issues Towards 2023 Elections. The one day Engagement is with the support of Mac Arthur Foundation.
He noted that it is unfortunate stressing that INEC should work very hard to correct the situation as he described the improvement in the 2022 amendments as contained in the Electoral Act as a work in progress that must be commended.
He also berated political parties in Nigeria for turning electorates into Commodities they can purchase at will.
He stated that while it is unfortunate that the Political parties are the culprits in votes buying, lamented that the electorates who sell their votes are also culpable as there won’t be buyers if there are no sellers.
He expressed worries that if there are no sellers there won’t be buyers, blamed Political parties for not doing enough in Political Education and enlightenment, reason for the desperation to buy votes.
Comrade Miliki lauded the new Electoral Act which he pointed out greatly helped in the improvement in the Ekiti Governorship, stressed that ahead of the 2023 General elections, CHRCR would sustain it Sensitization and engagement with citizens.
While Comr. Miliki decried the pitfalls of the nation’s elections owing to vote buying which he pointed out has taken a new dimensions, from wholesale buying at the primaries just held across the State, to the anticipated retail vote buying in the coming elections, praised the introduction of the BIVAS machine as another improvement in the nation’s Electoral system.
The Executive Director described vote buying and selling as a criminal offense, tasked Political parties to incorporate anti corruption and Accountability Issues Towards the 2023 Elections.
Comr. Miliki stressed the need for the inclusion of more vulnerable and marginalized groups throughout the election processes in 2023, appealed that when party‘s engaged in issues based campaign, it would go a long way in checking vote buying.
The various Political parties present at the meeting all made commitments to fighting issues of corruption, pointing out that efforts is on for all the candidates.
The Political parties said they have document which has been handed over to candidates of the parties who emerged at the Primaries to look take corruption issues seriously, alluded hunger and poverty as reason for votes buying and selling.
The Project Goal of the One day Engagement by CHRCR in Partnership with CISLAC is to reduce corruption in Nigeria by bolstering Support for Anti corruption and Social Inclusion amongst critical groups and strengthening policies and Programs for anti-corruption at the State Level in Nigeria as a country prepares for Election in 2023.