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FG should apprehend politicians buying PVC

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By Okunloye Abiodun

Crimes against electoral and human rights should be punished by the law - SERAP.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a civil society organization, has requested in an open letter dated December 17, 2022, that President Muhammadu Buhari direct the relevant anti-corruption institutions to find and detain politicians who are reportedly buying permanent voter cards (PVCs) from impoverished Nigerians. SERAP also requested that President Buhari publicly call out the names of any politicians as well as their sponsors who are suspicious of being engaged in these severe electoral and human rights offences.

According to the letter, which was signed by Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization’s deputy director, if the illegal activity is not stopped, it will significantly harm the validity of the representative government. The CSO further said purchasing PVCs from poor citizens constitutes vote buying, unlawful electoral interference, and disproportionate influence. It added that the accusations that politicians and their supporters were purchasing PVCs from underprivileged Nigerians constitute significant breaches of the Electoral Act, the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended), and the nation’s international duties in the fight against corruption and also human rights.

SERAP vows to compel the government to comply with its request.

Voting is a fundamental human right, as SERAP pointed out; yet, if corrupt politicians and their backers are able to buy PVCs and keep getting away with atrocities against the people of Nigerians, then perhaps the voting right will be meaningless. Within 7 days of receipt and/or publishing of the letter, they requested action be taken as outlined in the letter. When that deadline passes without a response from the government, SERAP said it would explore possible legal options to force the government to respond to their demand in the interest of the public.

Moreover, no government deserving the name democracy uses an auction or barter system to choose its leaders. Persuading impoverished Nigerians to trade their PVCs violates their right to make their own decisions. Buying PVCs from poor Nigerians and denying them their democratic right to vote would undermine the credibility of representative government. The right to vote as well as public confidence and trust in the election process, would be advanced by looking into, exposing, naming, and condemning individuals suspected of being involved in these illegal actions of vote-buying and improper influence, then bringing such to justice.

People must be granted their electoral rights and privileges.

Section 14(1)(c) of the Nigerian Constitution states, “the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution,” as SERAP noted. Before, during, and after an election, bribery and disproportionate influence are strictly forbidden by sections 121 as well as 127 of the Electoral Act. Furthermore, the group emphasized that the freedom to political engagement, including the freedom to vote, is guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance.

State parties, such as Nigeria, are obligated by international human rights treaties to work toward promoting conditions where citizens can actively participate in government. PVC purchases are a form of undue influence and vote buying. It would be difficult for INEC to effectively carry out its obligations under Section 153 of the Nigerian Constitution, Paragraph 15(a) of the third schedule of the Constitution, as well as the Electoral Act of 2022. It added that It would encourage bad governance, treat poor Nigerians differently, and make it harder for people to take their “elected officials” responsible for their deeds.

Government should take swift action ahead of the 2023 election.

SERAP cautions that politicians who accept financial support from special interests rather than competing fairly for voters’ votes may behave in a way inconsistent with democratic norms.  Prior to the general elections in 2023, SERAP clarified that taking swift measures to remedy the blatant impunity and alleging that politicians were buying PVCs from disadvantaged Nigerians would send a clear message to political elites that the government would not condone any interference with the electoral process.


Related Link

SERAP: Website

Snopes.com


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Ask Nigeria
Admin
1 year ago

FG should apprehend politicians buying PVC – Crimes against electoral and human rights should be punished by the law – SERAP. – Express your point of view.

jdpumping
Member
1 year ago

At this present age any politician caught buying votes should be dealth with decisively and made to face the consequences,thanks to organization sensitizing the people on important of their PVC and why you must not sell it.

Abusi
Abusi
Member
1 year ago

Any body found culpable of committing this election crimes like buying of Voters card should be incarcerated. They are impeding on the rights of people to vote and it’s not right.

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
Member
1 year ago

Crimes against electoral and human rights should be punished by the law. Very necessary, if any politician caught buying votes should be seriously punish. We have to get it right this time

Adesanyaj72
Adesanyaj72
Member
1 year ago

Some Nigerian politicians are said to be buying permanent voter cards (PVCs) from people who are poor. President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered competent anti-corruption organizations to locate and detain these politicians.

Chibuzor
Chibuzor
Member
1 year ago

Buhari should make public the identities of any individuals as well as the backers of those politicians who he has reason to believe are involved in these grave violations of human rights and electoral law.

Hassan Isa
Hassan Isa
Member
1 year ago

If the illegal behavior is not put to an end, it will deal a serious blow to the credibility of the democratically elected administration.

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Nwachukwu Kingsley
Member
1 year ago

The CSO went on to say that getting PVCs from low-income residents is the same as buying votes, meddling in elections without permission, and having too much power.

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
Member
1 year ago

It would investigate the various legal avenues that may be taken to compel the government to comply with their demand in the benefit of the general public.

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Godsewill Ifeanyi
Member
1 year ago

Buying voter registration cards from low-income Nigerians and then denying those people their democratic right to vote would be disastrous for the integrity of representative governance.

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
Member
1 year ago

Any person who is determined to be responsible for election-related offenses such as buying a voter registration card need to be locked up. They are making it more difficult for individuals to exercise their right to vote, which is unethical.

Tolaniiii
Tolaniiii
Member
1 year ago

Buhari should provide the identity of anyone he suspects of these serious human rights and electoral law infractions.

Christiana
Christiana
Member
1 year ago

Human and electoral rights violations should be prosecuted. Very important to punish politicians that buy votes. We must succeed this time.

Bola12
Bola12
Member
1 year ago

If the unlawful behavior is not immediately stopped, it will deliver a significant blow to the credibility of the administration that was elected through a democratic process.

Haykaylyon26
Member
1 year ago

This is a nice move it will make all this politician to be careful using money to buy PVC should be punished it will allow fair flow of election and the people also should know how important their PVC is.

Ultra0711
Ultra0711
Member
1 year ago

There are rumors that some politicians in Nigeria purchase PVCs from underprivileged individuals. In order to track down and arrest these politicians, all measure needs to be implemented to see to it end.

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
Member
1 year ago

In don’t see an end to vote buying by the called politicians because no serious punishment is been vest on the people doing it and as long as no punishment for the offender,there wouldn’t be any different.

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
Member
1 year ago

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered competent anti-corruption organizations to locate and detain these politicians.Any body found culpable of committing this election crimes like buying of Voters card should be incarcerated.

SarahDiv
Member
1 year ago

Vote buying has been on for quite awhile now. If you want a credible leader for presidency and other electoral positions then vote wisely. Don’t sell your PVC.

theApr
theApr
Member
1 year ago

As SERAP noted, voting is a vital human right; nevertheless, if dishonest politicians and those who support them are allowed to purchase PVCs and continue to get away with crimes against Nigerians, the right to vote may become useless.

Remi1
Remi1
Member
1 year ago

In the event that the government does not reply by the deadline, SERAP stated that it will look into legal measures to compel it to do so in the public interest.

DimOla
DimOla
Member
1 year ago

There is no way that the PVC buying can be stopped in as much as the federal government is indirectly supporting some politicians. My candid advice to eligible voters is that don’t sell your PVC. If you do you are selling your right. Vote for the right person.