Peace committee frowns at vote buying during bye-elections

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The National Peace Committee led by the former Military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar has on Thursday, commended stakeholders including staff members of the Independent National Electoral Commission for the conduct of the off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states.

The committee also frowned at the reported violence, vote-buying, and intimidation, among others which it described as heart-wrenching.

This was contained in a statement made available to the newsmen. The statement reads, “The National Peace Committee is grateful to all critical stakeholders who worked round the clock to ensure that the elections are free, fair and credible. Our appreciation goes to the staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, security agencies, traditional rulers, leaders of political parties, Non-governmental organisations, civil society groups, the media and others who ensured the success of the elections in the three States.

“We express our gratitude to voters in the states for defying obstacles and threats by performing their civic duties. We encourage our people to remain resilient and to use our experiences to correct the mistakes in the process of our elections.

“We are not unaware of the glitches recorded during the elections. Sadly, we have noted that some of the old ways remain and ordinary people continue to collude with corrupt members of society to stall the processes of our elections.

“The persistence of the culture of vote-buying, intimidation, voter apathy, amongst others are disturbing. A democratic culture will only grow if we participate in cleaning up the process of our elections because, in the end, we are the victims. The corruption of the process will lead to the emergence of corrupt leaders if we collude with merchants of corruption.

“Finally, while we congratulate candidates who emerged winners during the elections we encourage other participants not to lose faith in the judiciary and other means of seeking redress. With its imperfections, the judiciary is critical to the development of a good society.

“Irrespective of our diversity and political differences, we are better as one, united and indissoluble country. We call on the bearers of the sacred trust to deliver on their promises because good governance creates the condition for citizens to feel confident about elections.”

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