The Ekiti state governorship election was held on Saturday, July 14, 2018. The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright has said that he is convinced that there was vote buying during the Ekiti governorship election.
The election, in which Kayode Fayemi emerge as the winner, was held on Saturday, July 14, 2018.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have at different times, accused each other of buying votes during the election.
Arkwright condemned the act, describing it as illegal and the same as vote rigging and ballot stuffing.
He said this while speaking to newsmen on Friday, July 21, 2018, after he met with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
Arkwright also said “I was there in Ekiti to monitor elections and I heard a lot of reports of alleged vote buying and we are convinced that some vote buying went on. I condemn it. Vote buying is illegal; it is against the law, it is just as vote rigging, it is just as bad as ballot stuffing.
“We cannot make a distinction when all these activities are illegal so I condemn that. What are we going to do about it? Well we just had a meeting with the chairman of INEC, we have been talking about public awareness and how the political parties themselves can take responsibility for condemning this action and not continuing it.
“We do hope that 2019 will be free, fair, credible and of course, peaceful election.”
The diplomat also commended INEC on its handling of the election saying: “I think the election process itself went well, the materials were there, the security forces kept their distance and did manage to keep a peaceful election and we are seeing progress in how INEC is carrying out each election. So, we have confidence in INEC and the chairman.
“The UK has been a very strong supporter of INEC and together with the USAID, we are spending about $60m over a six-year period in support of deepening democracy in Nigeria,” Daily Postreports.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has requested the Senate to approve the sum of N242.45 billion for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Department of State Service (DSS) and other security agencies to prepare for the 2019 general elections.