The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has said voters will not be allowed to go inside polling booths with their telephones, cameras and any other devices that can record images.
He said this on Monday in Osogbo at the stakeholders’ forum organised ahead of Saturday election.
The INEC chairman said this would help to curb the issue of vote-buying and vote-selling which he described as a new strategy adopted by politicians to rig elections.
He said voters would not be barred from using their devices at the polling units but would not be allowed to hold their cameras and telephones from the moment they are issued with ballot papers until they cast their marked ballots inside the ballot boxes.
He said the decision was reached because of the alarm raised by stakeholders that politicians had adopted ‘see and buy’ as a new rigging method but said this would be prevented from happening during the governorship poll in Osun State.
Yakubu said, “I wish to now turn to the worrisome issue of vote-buying. Over the years, the Commision has taken several steps to improve our electoral process. Today, malpractices such as ballot box snatching and stuffing, multiple voting, diversion of election materials, hijacking of election personnel, falsification of results and sundry violations of the electoral law have been considerably addressed.
‘”Votes now count and for this reason, the voter has become the new target of those who are determined to continue to subvert the electoral process. The menace of vote buying and selling on election day is the latest challenge to our electoral democracy. We wish to assure Nigerians that the commission will rise to this challenge as well.
” Our immediate response is to review the administration of our polling units to make it difficult for voters to expose their marked ballot papers between the voting cubicles where they vote in secret and the ballot box where they cast their votes. “