[FILES] A man has his thumb print verified through the window to vote at a polling station in Kano, commercial capital of northern Nigeria, on February 23, 2019. – Nigeria began counting votes in presidential elections, even as many people had yet to even cast their ballot because of delays in the opening of polling units and problems with staffing and technology. Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last week announced a one-week delay to the election, just hours before it was due to get under way. The presidential contest will see incumbent Muhammadu Buhari (APC) seek to win a second four-year term against former vice president Atiku Abubakar (PDP). (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)
Agence France-Presse

The Centre for Democracy and Development’s (CDD) Election Analysis Centre (EAC) has said that despite repeated assurances from the authorities, Saturday’s supplementary elections in parts of the country were marred by attacks against journalists, observers and voters apart from widespread vote buying and selling.

This is contained in the second preliminary report of the centre and presented to newsmen Saturday in Abuja by the CDD Director, Idayat Hassan.

She equally listed ‘‘high level of under-aged voters especially in Plateau, Kano and Sokoto states’’.

According to Ms. Hassan, represented by an analyst of the CDD-EAC, Jideofor Adibe, the incidences of vote buying was done openly not minding the presence of security operatives.

She however said that the center’s deployed observers reported that the elections recorded high voters’ turnout in the five states, with Kano, Plateau and Sokoto states recording higher margins.

“From the information gathered in the states, the two major political parties were involved in trying to induce voters. Issues of vote buying were noticed in Sokoto State and the allegation was against the two dominant parties. A voter who preferred not to be mentioned told our observer that at the Katta Hakimii polling zone EC 30 B, Gidan Katta area of Illela in Sokoto State, he was offered N10, 000 by the PDP agent while that of the APC offered him N15, 000.

“Although, the voter refused to mention the names of the agents he maintained that before sliding your thumb printed paper into the ballot box, you will have to lift it up for the agent to see and nod his head as a sign that you have fulfilled your own part of the deal hence qualified for the payment,” Hassan said.

She said that despite that vote buying is an offence punishable under Nigeria laws and its routine occurrence, none of the culprits has ever been punished or faced the wrath of law.

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