The Minister of Communications, Dr Adebayo Shittu, has said the ministry would collaborate with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to ensure the enactment of appropriate policies to mitigate the negative effects of vote buying.
The minister stated this in Abuja while declaring open a ‘National Dialogue on the Challenges of Vote Buying and Selling’ organized by NOA at the Merit House, Maitama.
The minister said vote buying is an electoral offence which can undermine the legitimacy of elections and weaken democracy.
He said NOA the ministry should collaborate with the to leverage on Information Communications Technology (ICT) tools to carry out innovative, education and sensitization to combat the spate of vote buying and selling in Nigeria’s political ecosystem.
He stated that the rising phenomenon of vote buying during election is a threat to the conduct of free and fair election which calls for deep concern because it can hamper the development of democracy in the country.
He said the federal government is determined to reducing the disturbing trend while commending the director-general of NOA for organizing the event.
“We believe in innovation at solving problems and we will tirelessly pursue innovative solutions in curbing the negative effect on the credibility of our electoral process, ” he said.
In his paper presentation, the coordinator, Centre for Leadership and Development, Mr Otive Igbuzor blames the growing trend of vote buying and selling on poverty, unemployment and illiteracy.
He described the menace as illegal and dangerous as it makes citizens to be ruled by their inferiors which results in maladministration.