The 2019 general election will take new shape as the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, announced the intention of the commission to ban the use of mobile phones at polling units.
Prof Yakubu said this at the stakeholders’ forum in Osogbo organized ahead of Saturday’s election. According to him, the mobile phones taking to the units are normally used to take pictures of the ballot papers as evidence to the vote buyers. The ban of mobile phones at polling units is to curb vote buying in the country which has become a norm during elections.
“Over the years, the Commission 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…” – Prof Mahmood Yakubu
Asides as using the pictures of the ballot papers as evidence, those involved in the act can also send to others through WhatsApp which may lead to one ballot paper being used by hundreds of people.
In a bid to implement the ban, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that cameras and other recording devices will not be allowed into polling booths during Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State.
However, voters are not 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.